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Men are not influenced by Facts, but by Opinions respecting Facts." — Epicteics. 

VOL. I. 






JUH31 1974 

^?S„ V OF ^ 



Cftc iHemorg 






Introduction xi 


Objects of the Journey — Departure from Argos — Hard- 
ships and Enjoyments of Eastern Travel 1 


State of the Greek Peasantry in 1830 — Military and Poli- 
tical Importance of the Gulf of Corinth — Incident in 
the War of Independence — Naval Action in the Bay 
of Salona 15 


Patrass — Turkish and Greek Flags 32 

Western Greece — Greek Opinions of the Duke of Welling- 
ton — Missolonghi — The Horn of Plenty — Battle of 
Lepanto 41 


Anatolico — Trigardon — Marsh of Lezini — Swimming 
to a Monastery — Depression of the Coasts of Acar- 
nania and Epirus — European Politics, and Turkish 
Policy — Comparison of Turkish and Roman Conquest 
— Administration introduced by the Turks 62 




Refugees in the Lake of Vrachori — Antiquarian Researches 
and Mishaps — Effect of Gunpowder on Governments 
and People — Refinement and Ruins of Alyzea — A 
Picturesque Scene 96 


Change in the Palicars — The Vlachi Soldier-Shepherds — 
Pouqueville's Blunders — Fetes in the Makronoros — 
Boar Hunt — Arrival in Albania 119 

The Protocol 144 


The Three Commissioners — Departure from Prevesa — 
Prospects of Convulsion in Albania — The Plain of 
Arta 150 


Political, Social, and Diplomatic Disquisitions with a 
Governor, a Noble, and a Judge 160 


State of Parties, Dispositions for Opening the Campaign. . 177 


Town of Arta — Departure for, and Arrival at, Janina — 
State of the Country — Female Costume and Beauty — 
Domestic Industry — Distribution of the Troops — Sud- 
den Panic, and Preparations for an Expedition 193 

Skipetar Expedition to the Pindus 222 




Meeting of the Camps — Conference between the Chiefs — 
Fresh Alarms 242 


Impressions produced by the Skipetar Camp — Past State 
and Future Prospects of Albania — Comparison of the 
Characters of Insurrection in Turkey and in Europe . . 265 


Departure from the Camp — Adventure on the Pindus — 
Hoisted into a Monastery — The Meteora — Discovery 
of Strange Intrigues — Radical Governor of Triccala — 
Arrival at Larissa 277 

Thessaly 298 

Reception of the Albanian Beys at Monastir 307 


A Retrospect — Mahommed IV. and his Times — Diplo- 
matic Intercourse — International Wrongs — Drago- 
mans in the East — Commercial Restrictions in the 
West 34 1 


Social Intercourse with the Turks 36 1 


Characters of an Eastern and an Ancient Room — Pre- 
sentation of a European in Eastern Society 371 



Rambles in Olympus, and Ascent to its Summit 398 


Judicial Administration and Foreign Relations of a Moun- 
tain Pirate-King — Organic Remains of the War of 
Troy 439 

Plan of an Ancient and an Eastern Room to face p. 374, Vol. I. 


No traveller offers a work to the public without 
supposing that he has some new facts or ideas to 
communicate, or some erroneous statements or 
opinions in the works of his predecessors to cor- 
rect. If this is true with reference to countries 
that are at our doors, and with the language, in- 
stitutions, and customs of which we are perfectly 
familiar, it must be far more applicable to countries 
at a distance, with manners and institutions dis- 
similar to our own ; with whose language we never 
are acquainted ; of whose literature we know 
nothing; with whose society we never mingle; 
between whose inhabitants and the natives of our 
own country, friendship seldom or never exists. 
The casual wanderers in such a land, must, in 
the impossibility of correctly observing, receive a 
multitude of loose impressions, and these impres- 
sions on their return home are poured forth with 


the same facility and diversity as those with which 
they were received. It is not, therefore, with the 
idea that there is much to be corrected in the 
opinions which have resulted from such statements 
respecting the countries of which these volumes 
treat, but with the conviction that there is nothing 
known — that I offer these volumes to my country- 
men. It is with the manners of a people as with 
their language : no part can be correctly described, 
no passage accurately applied, unless the mind of 
the one, as the grammar of the other, has been 
laboriously studied, and is perfectly understood. 

The claims which I can offer as the grounds of 
my own confidence, or of the confidence of others, 
in my opinions, are — ten years unremittingly 
employed in the acquisition of the necessary in- 
formation for judging of the countries which are 
here in part described. During this period, unoc- 
cupied with any other pursuit, my time has been 
entirely devoted to investigation in detail, or to 
general studies collaterally bearing on the laws, 
history, commerce, political and diplomatic position 
of the East, and more particularly of Turkey. So 
that, although these inquiries have been extended 
over fields wide and diversified, they have been 
systematically directed to the elucidation of one 
question, and of that question which most nearly 


touches the interests, and, perhaps, the political 
existence, of Great Britain. 

During my early travels, and engaged as I 
originally was in the war between Greece and 
Turkey, I was led to form the most unfavourable 
conclusions respecting the character of Eastern 
countries, and of the Turkish government and 
people in particular. It was after three years of 
diligent statistical inquiries, that I began to per- 
ceive that there were institutions connected with 
the East. From the moment that I did perceive 
the existence of peculiar, though still indistinct, 
principles, an intense interest was awakened in 
my mind; and I commenced a collection of financial 
details, with a view to understanding the rules 
upon which they were based. Three more years, 
I may say, were spent in this uncertainty, and 
I collected and noted down the administration of 
two hundred and fifty towns and villages, before I 
was struck with the common principles that guided 
their administration. 

It was also only after one half of the time 
which I spent in the East had passed by, that I 
began to perceive that there were certain rules and 
principles of social manners and customs which it 
was necessary to study in themselves, and the 


acquisition of which was a condition to useful social 

Having gone through this laborious process, 
it is but natural for me to suppose that a know- 
ledge of the East involves long and assiduous 
labour, which cannot be undertaken except by one 
who has no other occupation or pursuits ; who is 
gifted with energy and perseverance ; and is pre- 
pared to make an entire sacrifice of all the' com- 
forts, luxuries, and enjoyments of life, to which he 
had been accustomed. 

A work on the East is a task which no man 
who correctly feels, can lightly or willingly under- 
take. It is exactly in proportion to the progress 
made, that the difficulties of such a study will be 
apparent, and, consequently, that the diffidence of 
the inquirer will increase. 

If a botanist, accustomed to a region con- 
taining a limited number of species, who has 
founded his theory of botany on such generalisa- 
tions as this limited number of facts allowed him 
to draw, or enabled him to apply, suddenly comes 
into another region, where he finds his principles 
inapplicable, or insufficient, he must immediately 
revise the whole science of which he is a professor. 
So, in the consideration of nations, if you come to 


ideas which, when correctly understood, cannot be 
accurately rendered by the symbols of your own 
language, you must immediately revert to first 
principles — you come back to the reconsideration 
of human nature. 

In this lies the difficulty of the East — the real 
cause of that embarrassment which seems to in- 
crease in proportion as information accumulates. 
The man who sees the East for a day can sketch 
external objects by the words which exist in Eu- 
ropean language ; but to be able to convey thoughts, 
he must feel as they do, and describe those 
feelings in a language which is not theirs ; and this 
is an overwhelming task. Language is the con- 
ventional representation of impressions ; but when 
impressions are not identical, they cannot be 
conveyed by common sounds ; and, therefore, 
where there is difference of impressions, there is no 
possibility of obtaining a common language. 

In this difficulty of intercommunication, it is but 
natural to suppose that each party has suffered in 
the eyes of the other : we have been deprived of 
the means of appreciating that which is good ; we 
have exaggerated that which is bad, and inter- 
preted unfavourably that which is indifferent. The 
original deficiency of language has been the cause, 
subsequently, of justifiable hostility ; and, in this 


reaction of cause and effect, a reciprocal contempt 
of the one for the other has finally resulted. This 
misintelligence which has taken root amongst the 
Europeans who have settled in the East, excludes 
travellers, by the existing hostility, from intercourse 
with the natives of the country. They have not 
the key to intercourse, and are dependent for the 
first impressions by which their whole subsequent 
career is necessarily guided, on the residents in 
the East, who speak the same language as them- 

It is to be supposed that those who turn their 
faces towards the rising sun, are impelled by a 
generous ardour for the pursuit of knowledge ; that 
their imagination is warmed by the poetry of 
Eastern existence, and by the splendour of East- 
ern scenery ; that men, whose early education has 
been formed upon the Bible, and whose boyish 
aspirations have been fired by the Oriental breath of 
the " Arabian Nights," should look with sympathy 
and interest upon those institutions, those habits, 
and those effects, which live alone in the " clime of 
the East." Nevertheless, it is unfortunately but 
too true, that, whilst European visitors have ne- 
glected the political and moral interest and character 
which that land affords, they have also neglected 
even those external and physical features, which 


come within the scope of the sciences which ab- 
sorb the still available faculties of observation and 
comparison of the present age. The botany, the 
geology, the mineralogy of European and Asiatic 
Turkey, have been scarcely extended since the days 
of Tournefort. We owe our recent geographical 
knowledge respecting the regions of Upper Asia to a 
translation made at Paris from a Chinese geographer, 
whose work was published fifteen hundred years 
ago ! Until the survey of Lieutenant Burnes, the 
only information we possessed respecting the course 
of the Indus, — the channel of Indian commerce, 
and the frontier of the British dominions, — was 
derived from the historians of Alexander! We 
need not, therefore, be surprised that we should be 
ignorant of the character of the Eastern mind — 
of the limits of Eastern knowledge — of the tide 
and current of Eastern opinion. 

The admission, as a general proposition, of diffi- 
culty in the study of the East, of ignorance of facts, 
of erroneousness of conclusions, may remain a 
truism inoperative and unfruitful ; it is, therefore, 
necessary to shew how the use of certain terms 
applicable to our state becomes the source of error, 
while the observer cannot, by any possibility, 
suspect, that the error lies in the use of the lan- 
guage with which alone he is familiar. I will, 



therefore, give a few instances, which may serve to 
illustrate the stumbling-blocks which preconceived 
and European notions cast in the path of Oriental 

When we look back to the history of Great 
Britain not many years ago, we find a population 
degraded, miserable, insulated. We see the pro- 
gress of the arts, of agriculture, and, above all, the 
construction of roads, producing a concomitant 
improvement in the condition of men; and we 
naturally infer that good roads, mechanical skill, 
&c, are conditions of well-being, and, where these 
are . not, that every thing must be degradation 
and misery. When, therefore, we hear of countries 
where the roads are in as bad a condition as they 
were fifty years ago in England, we conclude 
that the social condition of these countries is such 
as it was in England, or as we suppose it (for the 
dogmatic character of the day is ever prone to 
revile the past) to have been in England at a 
former period. But in England, and in countries 
lying in the same latitude, the enjoyments of the 
people are derived from a distant zone ; have to be 
transported from afar ; and the superabundance of 
home produce has to be exported before it can be 
exchanged to obtain these luxuries. A population 
so situated, if without the easy means of transport, 


must remain destitute of all those enjoyments which 
result from interchange, and which beget industry. 
To them, therefore, roads become of vital import- 
ance; but roads are by no means a question of 
equal importance to countries where every village 
has within its reach the comforts and the luxuries 
which Northern populations have to obtain from a 

In the same way, the population of Great Bri- 
tain, before the introduction of green crops, was 
restricted, during the long inclement months of 
winter, to provisions of the worst description. Salt 
bacon, and, at an earlier period, eels, were -the 
only addition which the peasant could expect 
to his rye or barley during six months of the 
year ; and we naturally, therefore, esteem the 
improvements of modern agriculture as necessary 
to a good and wholesome diet, and necessary to 
the well-being of every agricultural population. 
But in countries where the winter is not of the 
same duration, and where the character of the 
produce is more varied, the progress of the science 
of agriculture is not in the same degree requisite 
for the well-being of the community. " The 
backward state of agriculture " is, therefore, a form 
of words which does not convey the same idea when 
applied to countries in different latitudes. 


Again, in our constitutional combinations, the 
point of departure, to which we look back, is feud- 
alism ; the mass of the population was then mere 
property ; and every step which has been made in 
the acquisition of social rights, in the establishment 
of equality, in the elevation of the power and the 
character of a central judicature, having been an 
improvement upon the original constitution of the 
state, we consider " progress," synonymous with 
improvement. In the East, the point of de- 
parture is — the free right of property of every 
man, and equality of all men before the law : — 
every departure from that original constitution 
has been in violation of its principles, and in 
violation of national rights. Eastern populations, 
therefore, appeal to stability as the sanction of 
popular rights ; the European, who understands 
the advancement of popular rights to lie in the 
word " progress," does not comprehend the Eastern, 
who looks on that which is stationary as that 
which is excellent : and while his preconcep- 
tions deprive him of the faculty of perceiving a 
train of thought so important and so valuable, he 
establishes erroneous data as the foundation of all 
his conclusions. 

Again, the word " Feudalism" is productive of 
similar confusion. Feudalism, in its true and 


real sense, has existed throughout the East from all 
times, and exists now ; and yet, in reducing to its 
simplest expression the difference existing between 
the East and the West, I have been obliged to 
have recourse, as defining that difference, to draw- 
ing a line between those nations that have passed 
through feudalism, and those nations that have 
not passed through feudalism ; by the former 
meaning the inhabitants of the West of Europe, 
with the exception of some fragments of races — 
the Basque Provinces, for instance, the islands 
Guernsey, Jersey, &c. 

Although feudalism was brought from the East 
to the West, it underwent in our Western regions 
modifications and changes which completely al- 
tered its nature. The primitive character was that 
of a local military organisation for the defence of 
the soil, for which a regular contribution was given, 
the remuneration amounting to one-tenth of the 
produce of the soil so protected. The tenure of 
those feoffs was dependent upon the will of the 
sovereign, and generally, in the earlier periods, 
they were yearly appointments. In the West, 
the feudal lords became the proprietors of the soil 
which they had been charged to protect, and 
thus entirely overthrew the principles, and vitiated 
the object, of that system, Feudalism in the East 


leaves to the cultivator the right of property; 
feudalism in the West has deprived him of that 
right — has conferred the land on the holder of 
the feoff, and converted the cultivator into a serf. 
The system is completely different : — but the 
word is the same. The European comes to a fact, 
which he designates feudalism, — he instantly, there- 
fore, makes the application of his views of Western 
feudalism to a state of society where nothing of 
the kind was ever known : hence our misconcep- 
tion of the rights of property of our Hindoo sub- 
jects, and a fundamental source of misconception 
of every principle of Eastern government, law, 
property, and legislation. 

The government of Turkey, as of other Eastern 
nations, it has been the habit to designate as 
" despotism ; " and this designation has not been 
confined to books of travels, but is used by writers 
of a scientific character, and in the classification of 
countries. Now it is a singular thing, that our idea 
of despotism is unknown to the Eastern mind ; that, 
to explain the word to a native of the East, it is 
necessary to describe to him a state of society 
where men disagree regarding the principles of law 
and justice. The idea of despotism, or the falsifi- 
cation of right, through the violence of power, can 
coexist only with two standards of right and wrong ; 


so that a fluctuating and accidental majority im- 
poses its will as the rule of justice and of law. 
Such a state of things has given birth to, and 
developed, feelings of deep animosity between man 
and man ; there has, consequently, been an exas- 
peration of expression, in all ideas associated with 
politics. But, in countries where the principles 
of the government have never been in opposition 
to the opinions of any class of the people, the 
abuse of power is * tyranny," but not " despotism ;" 
men may suffer from the violence of power, but 
they are not exasperated by the conversion into 
laws of opinions which they repudiate. 

In addition to the sources of fallacy common to 
all Europeans, there are those which flow from the 
sectional and party views of travellers. Every 
Englishman belongs to one or other of the political 
parties that divide his native country. Unable to 
take an impartial view of his own country, how 
can he be the judge of another ? His language is 
itself inapplicable to the subject-matter ; and these 
terms call forth the antipathies of his party 
bias. The Liberal, calling Turkey a " despotic" 
government, reprobates it by that term alone, 
and inquires no further; the Tory sees in it 
popular principles, and looks no further ; the 
Radical sees there principles which he considers 


aristocratic ; and the favourer of aristocracy despises 
it because there is no hereditary aristocracy; the 
Constitutionalist deems a country without a par- 
liament scarce worth a thought; the Legitimist 
takes umbrage at the limitations there placed to 
regal power ; the Political Economist is met by a 
system of taxation which he terms inquisitorial ; 
and the advocate of " protection of industry" can 
see no well-being, no civilisation, without a custom- 
house. Thus, the member of every party, and 
the professor of each class of opinions, finds in the 
terms which he is forced to use that which shocks 
his principles and overthrows his theory. 

The next obstacles that present themselves 
are of a social character. Fallacies of a meta- 
physical, logical, and political character mislead 
our reason ; fallacies touching manners irritate 
our feelings. We are treated in the East as 
outcasts and as reprobates. We do not inquire 
into the cause ; we do not gain the knowledge 
by which our position can be changed; we are, 
consequently, disposed to conclude unfavourably 
when that is possible, and are either excluded 
from their society, or labour under unceasing irri- 
tation of mind when admitted to it. 

The next and last source of fallacy which I 
shall touch upon is religion. In contradiction of 


the liturgy of the English Church, we look on the 
Mussulmans as "infidels;" and, in the spirit of 
our age and country, no less fanatic in religion 
than in infidelity, no less intolerant in faith than in 
politics, we treat as enemies of our religion those 
who admit the Gospels as their creed, and suppose 
in them the same intolerance towards us, that we 
are guilty of towards them. 

In undertaking this Work, one of my principal 
objects was the exposition of the characters, both 
in dogma and in practice, of Islam ; but circum- 
stances, into which it would be irrelevant to enter, 
have deprived me of the leisure necessary for 
treating this question as it ought to be treated. 
I must, therefore, dismiss it for the present, with 
this single remark, that as a Presbyterian and a 
Calvinist, I consider Islam nearer in dogma to 
the true Church * than many sects of so-termed 
Christians; since the Mussulman admits justifi- 
cation by faith, and not by works, and recognises 
the Gospels as inspired writings, and the rule 
of faith; since he looks on Christ as the Spirit 
of God, as without original sin, and as being 
destined in the fulness of time to bring all men 
into one fold. 

* Such was the opinion of Churchmen at the time of the 


But the social and political influence of Islam- 
ism has been entirely misunderstood; and I 
therefore beg to offer a few observations on the 
exclusively worldly and temporal characters of 
Islamism, with a view of exposing another source 
of error in our estimation of the East. 

In the East, the word religion does not convey 
the same meaning as in Europe; it is with us 
faith and dogma, wholly distinct from measures 
of policy and forms of government. At the period 
of the rise of Islamism, the struggle of religions 
represented, though with nobler and more useful 
characters, the struggle of opinions in the West 
at the present day. Our struggle of opinions has 
reference to forms of government; their struggle of 
religions had reference to measures of government. 
The Greek (faith and system) maintained heavy 
taxation, monopolies, and privileges. The Mussul- 
man (Arabs and followers of Mahommed) denounced 
monopolies and privileges, and recognised but a 
single property-tax. Tulleihah, a rival prophet, 
won over several tribes, by expunging the law 
against interest, and by a change in sundry civil 
precepts. Mosseylemah, the great rival of Mahom- 
med, had formed a code differing so little from 
that of his successful competitor, that local and 
personal accidents alone influenced "the struggle 


which was to decide whether the tenets of Ma- 
hommed, or the code of Mosseylemah, should 
give laws to the Eastern world." He had merely 
copied the principles of cheap government, equal 
law, and free trade, which the genius of Mahom- 
med had seized, as the levers by which the existing 
order of things could be overthrown, and a new 
order introduced ; and which he combined with 
religious dogmas in deference to the ideas of his 
age and country, improving on that which did 
exist, and forming that whole which has endured 
as a religion without losing its political features, 
and triumphed as a political system, without cast- 
ing off its devotional character. 

After long and anxious consideration, during 
which I have relied more on living impressions 
than on the cold records of the past, and having 
had the advantage of looking into the causes and 
effects of the recent adoption of Islamism by 
Christian, as by Pagan populations, I have come 
to the following estimate of the political character 
of Islam. 

As a religion, it 'teaches no new dogmas ; 
establishes no new revelation, no new precepts ; 
has no priesthood, and no church government. 
It gives a code to the people, and a constitution 
to the state, enforced by the sanction of religion. 


In its religious character it is devotional, not 

In its civil character it is so simple, compre- 
hensive, and concise, that law is supported by 
moral obligation. 

In its political character it limited taxation; 
it made men equal in the eye of the law ; it con- 
secrated the principles of self-government,* and 
the local control of accounts. It established a con- 
trol over sovereign power, by rendering the execu- 
tive authority subordinate to that of the law,f 
based on religious sanction and on moral obli- 

The excellence and effectiveness of each of 
these principles (each capable of immortalising its 
founder) gave value to the rest; and the three 
combined endowed the system which they formed, 
with a force and energy exceeding those of any other 
political system. Within the lifetime of a man, 
though in the hands of a population wild, ignorant, 
and insignificant, it spread over a greater extent 

* As in America. 

f Thus the provision for the poor, although a fixed sum, 
being 2| per cent on the income of every man of competent 
means, was left to his own distribution. Hence the funda- 
mental stone of the Mussulman character; hence hospitality 
and good-will between neighbours and men. 


than the dominions of Rome. While it retained 
its primitive character, it was irresistible, and its 
expansive power was arrested only when a lie* 
was recorded in its annals. 

A faith, a code, and a constitution, were thus 
combined in one comprehensive plan, where the 
service of the altar, the administration of the 
village, the collection of taxes, were services of 
honour, and not of profit ; and where no class or 
body had a place with interests at variance with 
those of the community. The sublimity of its 
devotion, the simplicity of the code, the excellence 
of the financial system, the freedom of its political 
doctrines, seemed to endow Islamism with the 
means at once of firing imagination and of sub- 
duing reason, of sufficing for all exigencies, realising 
every object for which society is constituted, and 
exhausting every mode of influencing men. 

Having dwelt so much on the difficulties that 
stand in the way of a correct estimate of the East, 
I must observe, that these difficulties reside solely 
in a Europeans preconceived opinions. Let a Eu- 
ropean of a powerful or a simple mind go to the 
East, and the key of knowledge is at once within 
his reach. As proof of this assertion, it is sufficient 

* About the year 30 of the Hejira. 


to refer to Lady Mary Wortley Montague, whose 
residence in Turkey did not exceed fourteen 
months, and who has accurately observed, and 
faithfully painted, almost every feature of society 
in that country ; and while she has been the only 
European who has justly estimated it, she is also 
the only one who has ever acquired there influence 
and consideration. The cause of this extraordinary 
phenomenon, I take to be her residence in a 'Turk- 
ish establishment, from the first hour of her en- 
trance into the country ; which at once carried her 
beyond the noxious influence of Frank residents 
and interpreters ; while, being a Woman, she was 
not versed in the fallacies of political life, nor com- 
mitted to the errors of politicians. 

I cannot omit here mentioning Mr. Lane's 
work on Egypt — the only delineation in a Euro- 
pean language of Eastern manners. This work I 
conceive to be eminently calculated to improve 
our position in the East, because it is now im- 
possible for a traveller to proceed thither without 
knowing that there exists there a distinct code of 
manners and politeness, which he must study if he 
pretends to know the people or to judge them. 

With regard to these volumes I have now to 
say, that I think they will promote investigation 
and discussion, if they do no more. The ground- 


work is a trip in European Turkey of five months ; 
they have, from scanty notes made at the time, 
been extended, whilst living amongst Turks, and 
on the banks of the Bosphorus. They were 
however, written as a distraction, rather than as 
an occupation, whilst suffering severely, bodily and 
mentally, and under impressions the most painful — 
those of seeing the best interests of my country 
sacrificed, and the conservative principles of the 
Turkish government and society undermined, less 
by foreign and hostile influence, than by a fatal 
imitation of Western manners, prejudices, and 



frc. src. 



Ix the early part of 1830 I was at Argos, returning 
to England from Constantinople, after having spent 
nearly three years in Greece and Turkey. Just as 
I was on the point of embarking, and of bidding 
adieu to a land in the destinies of which I had 
been deeply interested, but which now was stripped 
of its dramatic attributes and attractions, and was 
placed, in honour and repose, under the protecting 
wings of the three greatest powers in the world — 
just at that moment — a vessel, a King's ship, touched 
its shores, and landed a Protocol; which, with a 
power only to be compared to magic, set, instanter, 
every body by the ears. To tell how the people 
went and came, and harangued and gesticulated — 
how the fustanels* flounced about, how the mus- 

* The Albanian kilt, which is white, longer than the Scotch 
kilt, and very full. 

VOL. I. B 


tachoes were twirled up — would be a task indeed. 
This was at Argos ; but elsewhere the effect of 
this recent importation was no less marvellous. 
Day by day news reached us from province after 
province, from city after city : every where as at 
Argos, all other thoughts and occupations were 
laid aside ; and the people pouring out of their 
shops and dwellings, but having no agora in which 
to take counsel together, assembled in the various 
caffenes,* or coffee-shops, and there established 
arenas of hot debate, and schools of energetic 

All this, as may be imagined, was a great treat 
for travellers; but it was very puzzling, how a 
piece of paper with three autographs was to set a 
whole country in a state of fermentation. What 
increased the difficulty we experienced in account- 
ing for the strange scenes passing before our eyes, 
was, that this very document concluded by mutual 
and reciprocal congratulation from the signers to 
themselves — because of their joint conception of 
the actual Protocol ; which was to lead in for 
Greece a new and lucid order of things ; the din 
of arms and the voice of faction were alike to be 
hushed, and the Greeks henceforth and for ever- 

* The principal coffee-house at Napoli had, in consequence 
of the favourable effect of a previous protocol, been designated 
" Les Trois Puissances." On the arrival of the protocol of the 
3d of February, 1830, it was immediately designated "Cafe 
des Trois Potcnces." 


more were to attune their hearts and harps to the 
praise and honour of the triple Alliance. 

But it was clear all this would not end in 
words : we could arrive at no satisfactory conclu- 
sions, because men of equal ability, and possessed 
of equal means of information, entertained opi- 
nions the reverse of each other. At all events, all 
parties were agreed in this, that the self-gratula- 
tions of the protocol were premature ; and this 
point was constantly insisted on as revealing the 
degree of ignorance of the Conference of London ; 
an ignorance which they averred could only proceed 
from wilful misrepresentations made from Greece. 

While these subjects were under debate at 
Argos, news arrived that the Suliotes in Albania 
were again in arms ; then, that the Albanians were 
in arms. Some said that they, too, had resolved to 
resist the infliction of the Protocol ; others, that 
they were preparing for a general irruption into 
Greece ; but the generally prevailing opinion was, 
that a grand federation of Albanian Christians and 
Mussulmans, headed bv the formidable Pasha of 
Scodra, was preparing to carry war into Macedonia 
and Thrace, and to plant, in imitation of Mustafa 
Bairactar, the Illyrian banner on the heights that 
command the imperial city. 

The coincidence, therefore, of this Protocol, 
which launched Greece again on a sea of troubles, 
with the movements of Albania threatening the 
very existence of the Porte, and menacing, in that 

b 2 


event, to pull down the existing fabric of European 
power; induced me to postpone my return to 
England, in order to make myself, in as far as a 
knowledge of the points in dispute could make me, 
master of the question. I determined on visiting 
Continental Greece and the disputed boundary; 
and feeling that my interest in Greece, as well 
as any knowledge I possessed of that country, 
arose from having taken a share in her struggle, 
I resolved on endeavouring to make myself ac- 
quainted with Albania in the same manner ; and 
to join the first camp and leader that chance 
should throw in my way. 

On the 7th of May, 1830, I set out from Argos 
in company with Mr. Ross of Bladensburg; but, 
in consequence of the prevailing alarm, we were 
under the necessity of concealing our ultimate 
destination. Our friends would have looked on us 
as madmen, had they suspected us of an intention 
of visiting the wild Arnaouts : that might matter 
little ; but we certainly should not have got ser- 
vants to accompany us. 

I suppose things are altered now — much for 
the better, of course ; but at the time of which I 
am writing, when Greece still was light-hearted and 
young, it was a hard thing for a man to keep his 
own counsel. At every turn of a passage, every 
angle of a street, every furlong along the road, 
you were stopped at all times to have a long string 


of questions put to you. " Whence do you come?" 
" Whither are you going ?" * What is your busi- 
ness?" " How is your health ?" " Where is to be 
seen your venerable paternal mansion ?" " Which 
of the great allies has the honour of claiming you ?" 
" What ?iews?"* — and this, be it observed, between 
perfect strangers ; but when friends or acquaint- 
ances meet, and especially should one or both be 
women, then, with the redoubled sigmas of Greek 
interrogatories, commences a sibilation which one 
might take for a dialogue of boa-constrictors. 
Your state, health, humour, are all separately 
asked for ; similar inquiries are then instituted re- 
specting all and each of your known relatives, 
horses, and dogs. You must, in reply, present 
the appropriate compliments of the individual thus 
distinguished — thus : * How is the venerable Ar- 
chon, your Father ?" " He salutes you." — " How 
is the valuable Citizen, your Brother ?" " He kisses 
your eyes." — " How is the hopeful stripling, your 
Son ?" " He kisses your hand." And a dozen per- 
sons will each exercise his right of calling you 
separately to account, and each will repeat the 
identical questions which he has heard put and 

During my previous ramblings in Greece, I 

* This question is, for greater precision, often repeated in 
triplicate ; one expression derived from the Italian, one from 
the Turks, and one Hellenic, viz. M fS mandata — ti chaberi-^ 
ti nea V 


had become nervously irritable under this perse- 
cution, which is the more annoying after leaving 
Turkey, where all personal questions, when indi- 
cating any thing like curiosity, are perfectly re- 
pugnant to feelings and custom. At length, I hit 
upon a plan that stifled curiosity, and that was 
by telling the people that I came from Constan- 
tinople, and was going to Janina, — so strange an 
announcement putting an end to all further parley. 
But now that in reality I was going from Constan- 
tinople to Janina, I had to renounce the benefits 
of the avowal, and submit to the cross-examina- 
tion with the patience that years bring, and travel 

Bent, as we were, on a pilgrimage to the towers 
and tombs (long undisturbed by the footsteps of 
hyperborean wanderers) of the heroes who as- 
sembled from far and near on the shore of Aulis 
and swore fealty to the " King of Men," we could 
not more appropriately commence that pilgrimage 
than by paying our vows at the tomb of the great 
Agamemnon, and by perambulating with reverent 
footstep the grey ruins of Troy's rival, Mycene. 
These ruins are distant a few miles from Argos ; 
and there did we resolve on resting for the first 
night. Our tent, which, I have some pride in 
saying, was entirely of domestic manufacture, had, 
with the servants and baggage horses, been sent 
forward in the morning. It was, therefore, after 
the evening shades had commenced to lengthen 


out along the plain, that we cleared the strag- 
gling lanes of Argos, and bade adieu to its hos- 
pitable inhabitants. We passed under the abrupt 
and singular rock, on the summit of which stands 
the old fortress called Larissa, and then, wading 
through the scanty stream of " Father Inachus," 
entered on the magnificent plain which still bears 
the name of the city of Agamemnon. 

Even after the lapse of more than seven years, 
it is a real enjoyment to recall the feelings with 
which I commenced this journey ; and, although it 
may not be easy to describe that which can only 
be understood when felt, still do I conceive it 
incumbent on me to endeavour now, before we 
start, to give the reader who is to accompany me 
some insight into the manner of our future march. 

Throughout European, and a great portion of 
Asiatic Turkey, as also in Persia and Central Asia, 
people travel on horseback. With the same horses, 
the average rate may be 20 to 25 miles a day. 
With post horses, changing at stages varying from 
10 to 48 miles, 60 miles a-day may easily be 
accomplished ; 100 is fast travelling ; 150 the 
fastest ; 600 miles in four days and a half, and 
1200 in ten, are, indeed, feats, but not very un- 
common ones. 

This mode of travelling, even when not going 
at such a pace as that just mentioned, involves 
hardship, exposure, and fatigue. It is not a recre- 
ation suited to all men, and is trying even to those 


who are vigorous and indifferent to luxuries and 
comforts ; but there is none of that languor and 
feverishness that so generally result from travelling 
on wheels. The very hardships bring enjoyment 
with them, in invigorated health, braced nerves, 
and elevated spirits. You are in immediate con- 
tact with nature, every circumstance of scenery and 
climate becomes of interest and value, and the mi- 
nutest incident of country, or of local habits, can- 
not escape observation. A burning sun may some- 
times exhaust, or a summer storm may drench 
you ; but what can be more exhilarating than the 
sight of the lengthened troop of variegated and gay 
costumes dashing at full speed along, to the crack 
of the Tartar whip, and the wild whoop of the sur- 
rigee ? what more picturesque than to watch their 
reckless career over upland or dale, or along the 
waving line of the landscape, — bursting away on a 
dewy morn, or racing "home" on a rosy eve ? 

You are constantly in the full enjoyment of the 
open air of a heavenly climate, — the lightness of the 
atmosphere passes to the spirits, — the serenity of 
the clime sinks into the mind ; you are prepared 
to enjoy all things and all states ; you are ready 
for work — you are glad of rest ; you are, above all 
things, ready for your food, which is always savoury 
when it can be got, and never unseasonable when 
forthcoming. Still I must in candour avow, that 
no small portion of the pleasures of Eastern travel 
arises from sheer hardship and privation, which 


afford to the few unhappy beings who have not to 
labour for their daily bread, a transient insight into 
the real happiness enjoyed three times a-day by 
the whole mass of mankind who labour for their 
bread, and hunger for their meals. 

To travel in the East with comfort or advan- 
tage, it is necessary to do so according to the rule 
and custom of the country. This it is easy to 
lay down as a rule, but very difficult to put in 
practice, because it supposes long experience and 
perfect acquaintance with a subject, when you 
enter only on its threshold. But, supposing that 
this can be effected, you will proceed on your 
rambles accompanied by attendants who perform 
the various functions of your establishment as 
they would do in a fixed abode ; you carry also 
along with you every requisite and every comfort, 
and feel yourself almost entirely independent of 
circumstance or assistance ; and thus, in the desert, 
as in the peopled city, the associations of home 
pursue you, and practically inform you of those 
feelings of locomotive independence, and of that 
combination of family ties and nomade existence, 
which are the basis of Eastern character. How 
do these inquiries, which appear, at a distance, so 
abstruse, become homely and simple when you 
surround yourself with the atmosphere of custom ! 
You can at once lay your hand on motives ; you 
spring at once to conclusions without the trouble 
of reflexion, or the risks which so unfortunately 


attend the parturitions of logic. Placed among a 
strange people, if you inquire, you must use lan- 
guage not applicable to their ideas ; if you argue, 
you deal with your impressions, not theirs ; but 
when you put yourself in a position similar to theirs, 
you can feel as they do, and that is the final re- 
sult of useful investigation. Burke, in his essay 
on the " Beautiful and Sublime," mentions an 
ancient philosopher who, when he wished to un- 
derstand the character of a man, used to imitate 
him in every thing, endeavoured to catch the tone 
of his voice, and even tried to look like him : 
never was a better rule laid down for a traveller. 

Thus drawn within the pale of Eastern exist- 
ence, what interesting trains of thought, — what 
contrasts arise at every turn, and what import- 
ance and value trivial circumstances, not merely 
those of the East, but those of Europe also, 
assume ! How are you struck with relationships, 
unobserved before, between daily habits and the 
national character of centuries ; between domestic 
manners and historic events! The smoke rising 
from your hearth, before the door of your tent, 
pitched only ten minutes before, brings at once to 
your mind, through your feelings, the difference 
beween Gothic and Eastern colonisation and pa- 
triotism. You pitch, perhaps, by the ruins of a fane 
of Hellenic mythology ; an attendant brings in 
herbs for supper, collected on the field of a battle 
that has stirred your school-boy soul, and calls 


them by the names that Hippocrates or Galen 
would have used; while your groom pickets your 
horse according to the practice of the Altai Moun- 

But the thirst of the European traveller for 
novelty will not be gratified, unless he turn his 
mind to what I would call the novelty of antiquity. 
The finer and minuter portions of the existence 
of former ages, not being recordable by words, are 
lost to our times and in our portion of the globe. 
In the East, those habits of ancient days still live 
and breathe. There may you dine as people dined 
at Athens ; there may you enjoy the greatest, the 
lost luxury of antiquity, and bathe as they bathed 
at Rome ; and while there you may look upon, in 
real flesh and blood, the Homeric visions of three 
thousand vears — mav you also behold the Eying 
counterpart of our Anglo-Saxon ancestors, as de- 
scribed by Bede, and assist at gemots in each 
parish, as convened by Alfred. 

If I might recall one hour from this simple and 
nomade state of existence more delicious than the 
rest, it would be that of the evening bivouac, 
when you choose your ground and pitch your 
tent wherever fancy or caprice may decide, — on 
a mountain brow, in a secluded vale, by a run- 
ning brook, or in a sombre forest; and where, 
become familiar with mother earth, you lay your- 
self down on her naked bosom. There you may 
establish sudden community with her other child- 


ren — the forester, the lowland ploughman, or 
the mountain shepherd ; or call in, to share your 
evening repast, some weary traveller, whose name, 
race, and land of birth, may be equally unknown, 
and who may, in the pleasing uncertainty, but 
certain instruction of such intercourse, wile the 
evening hour away with tales of the Desert, or 
stories of the Capital, and may have visited, in this 
land of pilgrims, the streams of Cachmere, or the 
parched Sahara. 

But, though never can you better enjoy, still 
no where can you more easily dispense with man's 
society, than in your tent, after a long day's fa- 
tigue. It is a pleasure, which words cannot tell, 
to watch that portable home — every where the 
same — spreading around its magic circle, and 
rearing on high its gilded ball; as cord by cord 
is picketed down, it assumes its wonted forms, 
and then spreads wide its festooned porch, dis- 
playing within, mosaic carpets and piled cushions. 
There the traveller reclines, after the labour of the 
day and the toil of the road, his ablutions first 
performed at the running stream, and his namaz 
recited, — to gaze away the last gleam of twilight, 
in that absorbed repose which is not reflexion, 
which is not vacancy, but a calm communing 
with nature, and a silent observation of men and 
things. Thus that pensive mood is fostered, and 
that soberness of mind acquired, which, though not 
profound, is never trivial. Thus at home in the 


wilds should the Mussulman be seen — picturesque 
in his attire, sculpturesque in his attitude, with dig- 
nity on his forehead, welcome on his lips, and 
poetry in all around. With such a picture before 
him, the ever-busy Western may guess at the 
frame of mind of those to whom such existence 
is habitual, and who, thence, carry into the busi- 
ness of life the calm we can only find in soli- 
tude, when, escaping from our self-created world 
of circumstance, we can visit and dwell for a 
moment with the universe, and converse with it 
in a language without words. 

Nor are these, the shadows of which I have en- 
deavoured to catch, the whole enjoyments of East- 
ern travel. The great source of its interest to a 
stranger is — man ; the character of the people, and 
their political circumstances; facts new and varied; 
action dramatic, simple, and personal. With us, 
the national circumstances which demand the in- 
quirer's attention are of so analytical and scientific 
a character, that they are unapproachable, save by 
those who have devoted a lifetime of labour to 
each particular branch. He who has done so 
becomes absorbed in an exclusive study; he who 
has not, has no right to opine, and shrinks from 
examining. ' But, in the East, by the simplicity of 
system in public combinations, and by the clear 
perception of moral right and wrong in personal 
character, — all subjects worthy of engaging our 
attention are placed within the reach of the un- 


scientific, and reduced to the level of ordinary 
capacity. But the stranger must commence with 
laying previous opinions aside, as the first step to- 
wards becoming acquainted with feelings different 
from those implanted by the education of his 
national habits, and by the experience of his native 





After spending the first night of our journey, as 
already stated, at the ruins of Mycene, we pro- 
ceeded next morning to Corinth. Passing through 
the Dervenaki, celebrated for the check which the 
Pasha of Drama here received, we observed, not 
without interest, the tambouris (breast-works) which 
then had been thrown up, and listened to various 
versions of the gathering and success of the Greeks. 
A few miles further on, I was delighted to look 
again on the little plain of Xemaea, consecrated by 
its scene-like ruins ; but I had to regret that a 
whole year had neither added to its cultivation nor 
improved the condition of the wandering vlachi 
(shepherds). The same month found them again 
churning their butter under the same tree, sus- 
pending their simple implements by the same 
column ; without one burden diminished, — I wish 
I could add, without one prospect overcast. 

The present state of the country is far from 


realising the anticipations I had been led to form 
from the progress I had observed while travelling 
over the same ground the year before. All pro- 
posals for the cultivation of national lands, for the 
formation of agricultural and other establishments, 
for the construction of roads, had been discouraged 
or rejected by the Government, which arrested 
every enterprise, even by intimidation and threats ; 
and made a mystery of its ultimate measures and 
intentions. The very fact of the existence of a 
government had, during the previous year, spread 
life and activity through the whole country, and the 
effect was perfectly miraculous. But those ener- 
gies were repressed when the system which the 
Government chose to adopt came into operation ; 
and, now, not an additional hut had been raised, 
nor a tree planted, nor a field enclosed, nor a 
bridge rebuilt, nor a road restored. But this was 
not all. 

From the public lands, which include the rich- 
est and plain lands, the Government exacted three 
tenths of the produce. The peasants, for the most 
part, employed money borrowed at 2£ per cent per 
month, or received the seed for which they bound 
themselves to return one-half of the net proceeds. 
At sowing time, the price of grain was very high, 
owing to the blockade of the Dardanelles, while 
the seed-grain bore a still higher price, owing to 
the universal prejudice, that no seed will give a 
good crop save that which is grown in the country, 


the quantity of which was very small. At harvest- 
time, the blockade having been raised, prices fell 
one-half — a remarkable indication of the influence 
of the Dardanelles over the surrounding countries. 

The expense of cultivation in Greece is greater 
than in England. The modes and implements are 
rude and cumbersome ; every transport is made 
on the back of mules ; the land must be ploughed 
three times before sowing; their plough displaces 
the soil without turning or breaking the clods ; 
no manure is laid on the land, which generally 
bears but two crops in three years, and a great 
deal more seed than necessary is sown. With all 
these expenses and disadvantages, one-third of the 
crop (besides 12 per cent custom on all produce 
and goods shipped or unshipped) goes to Govern- 
ment, one-half of the remainder to the provider of 
cattle and seed; so that the peasant receives 
3i-tenths of the net proceeds to discharge the 
interest on his advances, to cover the expenses of 
cultivation, to maintain his family, and fulfil the 
expectations he had entertained of entering on a 
new and happier state of existence. 

The labouring population is yet far better off 
than the landed proprietors. Many of these had, 
through all the vicissitudes of the revolution, saved 
something as a last resource, and they eagerly 
seized the moment of their being put in peaceable 
possession of their properties to dispose of what- 
ever valuables they still retained, and applied the 
vol. i. c 


proceeds, together with any advance they could 
obtain, to the restoration of their lands. But their 
resources were generally inadequate, and their 
expectations always exaggerated. After building 
houses and farm-offices, buying cattle, breaking 
up and clearing land, proprietors have been left 
without the means of buying seed. 

The olive, and especially the mulberry-trees, 
which give their crops without outlay or care, and 
are the surest resources of an unsettled country, 
had been in a great measure cut down for firewood 
during the war : the vineyards and currant-vines 
could only be restored with considerable expense 
and the loss of several seasons. 

Thus, within a short year, panic had succeeded to 
speculation. The establishment, and subsequently 
the opening of the blockade of the Dardanelles, pro- 
duced a ruinous fluctuation of price, which, joined to 
the scarcity of foreign capital (owing to the policy 
of Capodistrias), has now reduced the landed pro- 
prietors to a state of bankruptcy and exasperation, 
which does not augur much for the future tran- 
quillity of the country. Their irritation is also to 
be attributed to the introduction of laws question- 
able in their utility, and decidedly objectionable 
from their unpopularity; to say nothing of what 
the people consider the loss of the rights and 
advantages which, under the old administration, 
would have enabled them to profit by the tran- 
quillity which existed, or to bear up against the 


temporary evils arising from accidents of the sea- 
sons and fluctuations of commerce. 

The distance from Argos to Corinth is only 
eight hours ; so, on the forenoon of the second day 
of our journey, we perceived our tent (which had 
been sent forward the day before) shining in the 
sun amid the ruins of the Serai of Kiamil Bey, at 

The rock and ruins having sufficiently occu- 
pied the pen and pencil of poets, topographers, 
and painters, I need not carry my reader to enjoy 
the sunset and sunrise with us from the immortal 
summit. "What I have to say respecting the isth- 
mus, and the canal which has been commenced 
across it, awaits in an Appendix the perusal of the 
curious geologist and antiquary ; as, also, observ- 
ations on the intermittent fever which afflicts the 
shores of the Gulf. 

From Corinth we directed our course to Pa- 
trass along the beautiful border of the Gulf of 
Corinth. The road generally runs close to the 
beach, with the lake-like Gulf on the right. A nar- 
row border of the most productive land on the face 
of the earth, bearing the currant-bush, is interposed 
between the shore and low hills, of a flesh-coloured 
clay, stretching in long parallel ledges, and studded 
with dark green shrubs. Mountains, chiefly of con- 
glomerate rock, rise behind, with rectangular out- 
lines, perpendicular sides, and parallel ridges, fringed 

c 2 


with pines ; their sombre hues and imposing forms 
rendered more gloomy and severe by the lively 
colours and fantastic sweeps of the foreground. I 
first beheld these mountain groups from the centre 
of the Gulf, in the dim haze of morning ; they looked 
like gigantic fortresses most scientifically and elabo- 
rately traced out ; the hand of nature had formed 
them to shelter the children of her soil. Only 
the year before, the bones of Tartar hosts lay 
whitening in the surf, along the shores of Acrata : 
not a vestige of them could I now discover. 

The Gulf, closed at its narrow entrance by the 
fortresses termed the " Little Dardanelles," since 
the invention of gunpowder, has been, and ever 
must be, essential to the military occupation of 
Greece. Its importance was no less sensible to the 
Osmanli in peace than to other nations it would have 
been in war, owing to the diplomatic nature of the 
ties that connect their dominion, and to the sepa- 
rate and often hostile action which that empire of 
balance can endure without disruption. Points 
of local strength or weakness, mountain barriers, 
lowland morasses, often measure the terms which 
one party can exact, or fix the privileges on 
which a community can take its stand. These 
circumstances are, therefore, every-day consider- 
ations ; and reasons of state and combinations 
of strategy, which in Europe are confined to the 
cabinet of an empire, or to the staff of an army, 


are gravely debated in village vestries. Turkey, 
in her European provinces, has long used, dreaded, 
and punished the lords of the mountains, the 
Arnaouts. The Gulf of Lepanto bars them the 
road to the fertile valleys of Greece : they have 
on three occasions been transported thither to 
suppress insurrection ; each time have they been 
guilty of the wildest excesses, and their only re- 
straint was, the knowledge that retreat was im- 
practicable without the consent of the Porte, as 
Turks held the castles, and a Greek militia the 
Isthmus of Corinth.* Therefore is every child 
familiar with the political importance of the pos- 
session of the Gulf. 

It is only necessary to cast a glance on the 
map of Greece, to appreciate the value of this arm 
of the sea. The region to the north, from Le- 
panto to the borders of Attica, is so intersected 
with mountains, and indented by bays, that it is 
impracticable for an army, and difficult of access 
for a traveller. Whoever holds the castles of the 
Little Dardanelles, commands all communication 
by land as well as by sea, between Western 
Greece, Arta, Albania, and the Morea. 

No wonder, then, that this barrier was con- 
sidered by the Osmanli as the setting by which 

* The celebrated Hassan Pasha extirpated a body of them 
after the insurrection of 1780, by intercepting their retreat at the 
isthmus, and at the " Little Dardanelles." 


they held the fairest gem of the European turban.* 
The bristling batteries of the double castles closed 
its portals to the infidel. For a long century their 
battlements had never blazed in wrath/f the waters 
of the Gulf had never felt a stranger keel, or re- 
flected from its tranquil mirror other pennant save 
that of the " blood-red flag." 

During the first six years of the war of inde- 
pendence, the communication between Continental 
and Peninsular Greece was maintained Jby the 
superiority of the Greeks at sea. During that long 
period, the Gulf remained in the possession of 
the Turks, severing the parts of a country neces- 
sary to their mutual support; and, consequently, 
the western parts of Continental Greece, if not 
completely subdued, were deprived of the power 
of further resistance. 

In the autumn of 1827, when the last sands of 
the destinies of Hellas seemed to mark her ap- 
proaching dissolution, the news of the treaty of 
July inspired her with fresh hopes, and called forth 
the renewed energy of her sons. The intelli- 
gence, spreading to the north, aroused Acarnania 
from her lethargy ; the Armatoles of Valtos and 
Xeromeros urged the return of their brothers 

* Two turbans were formerly carried before the Sultan ; one 
to represent Asia, the other Europe. 

t Even in the two previous revolutions of Greece, the guns 
of these fortresses had never once been used. 


serving in the Morea, and invoked the assistance 
of the Peloponnesians in expelling again the Al- 
banians, and in regaining the former, and the ne- 
cessary frontier of the Macronoros. 

But the attempt seemed hopeless ; all the lines 
of communication with Continental Greece were in 
the hands of the enemy : Albanians held Macro- 
noros and the level districts and forts of Acarnania ; 
Turks occupied Lepanto and the castles of the 
Gulf; Egyptians held Patrass, and the whole of 
Elis and Achaia ; the Egyptian and Turkish fleets 
crowded the Ionian Sea, and Missolonghi was 
theirs. The Greeks were assembled in some force 
in Argolis, and on the east of the Peloponnesus ; 
but, even if the Turks could not oppose them, 
when once arrived in Western Greece, how make 
their way thither ? If they could have penetrated 
through the continental highlands, the Turks 
would have arrested them at Rachova and at 
Thermopyle. The Egyptians would have met 
them, if they attempted to cross the Morea ; and 
the combined Mussulman fleets anchored on its 
shores at Navarino, Patrass, or Missolonghi, put 
all idea of transport by sea out of the question ; 
and between these horns of an inextricable di- 
lemma stretched the waters of the Gulf of Lepanto, 
in possession of a Turkish squadron. 

Still, what availed the treaty of July, unless 
Continental Greece were recovered ? 

From the dispositions of the two English chiefs 


of the Greek army and navy, it soon became evident 
that some enterprise had been determined on, in 
which the whole resources of both were to be 
combined ; and though all felt the urgent necessity 
of arousing the Continental Greeks, yet they no 
less sensibly felt the difficulty, if not the impracti- 
cability, of sending troops from Argos to Acarnania. 
The Greek fleet, though it might make its passage 
from place to place, could neither afford support 
to the army, nor receive assistance from it. Still 
it was evident that a descent on Western Greece 
was in contemplation. 

Corinth had been assigned as a rendezvous by 
General Church ; but little hope was excited by this 
unexplained gathering, and the captains of the 
Palicari did not flock to his standard with any zeal. 
Those who followed him, accustomed to exercise 
the liberty, alike> of free discussion and free will, 
had no heart for an enterprise in which neither was 
allowed ; and they asked, if the Archi-Stratigos 
intended to transport them to Acarnania in walnut- 
shells ? However, a considerable body had at length 
assembled; and on the 22d of September, 1827, as 
they were scattered over the grand amphitheatre 
that commands the Gulf, from the summit of the 
Acropolis of Corinth to the shore, — a square-rigged 
vessel was descried full before the Gulf wind, and 
standing straight for the Isthmus. Turkish men-of- 
war never approached this coast, and what other 
vessel could have ventured through the straits ? 


A thousand hopes, and surmises, arose and spread 
through the anxious throng ; the few glasses which 
the camp and the citadel could afford, were ap- 
pealed to in vain ; the swelling topsails concealed 
her colours. The vessel presently hauled her wind 
for Loutraki, a port at the northernmost angle of 
the Isthmus : her broad ensign then blew out and 
displayed the silver cross on its azure field! A 
shout of welcome arose from the expectant host, 
and the merry peals of the whole artillery of the 
citadel proclaimed, after two thousand years of 
subjection, the inauguration of the emblem of 
Greece on the waters of Lepanto. 

It was now ascertained that Lord Cochrane, 
having assembled a squadron, had proceeded to 
await the army without the straits, to transport it 
to Western Greece. But he had anxiously looked, 
and looked in vain, for the preconcerted signal-fires 
on the mountain; he had, therefore, determined 
on forcing a passage to embark the troops within 
the Gulf. But, on his communicating his intentions 
to the captains, they declared they would not ex- 
pose their vessels to such danger, and he was forced 
to abandon his design. The squadron was an- 
chored off Missolonghi ; the Admiral made signal 
to two vessels, also manned by Greeks, though 
officered by Englishmen. They instantly weighed 
and stood for the Gulf. These vessels were the 
steamer Perseverance, and the brig Sauveur : the 
latter vessel alone passed the batteries, and entered 


the Gulf. This is a romantic incident in the cir- 
cumstances that led to the establishment of Greek 
independence, and I may be excused for continuing 
the narration of the event that immediately led to 
the battle of Navarino. 

Proceeding up the Gulf, scarcely injured by the 
passage, the brig sailed for, and entered, a deep 
bight within Galaxidi, on the northern shore of the 
Gulf, opposite to Vostizza. The windings of the 
channel opened to the eyes of the Greeks a 
Turkish squadron huddled close together in equal 
security and confusion, — their sails drying, their 
men on shore, and, as it proved, without ammu- 
nition on board. But the dreams of bloodless 
victory were soon overcast ; and, on the evening 
of the same day, the Sauveur just managed to 
effect her escape, and run for Corinth. Her 
flag it was that caused the rock of Corinth to 
ring with artillery and acclamations. 

The effect of the appearance of this vessel in 
the Gulf was miraculous ; the talisman of Turkish 
supremacy was broken, and the passage to Western 
Greece opened. The Palicari now flocked round 
General Church, urging him to lead them for- 
wards. The camp broke up from Corinth ; and 
the Sauveur, now joined by the steamer, made 
sail for the westward. 

It was determined that the two vessels, the 
steamer and brig, should attack the squadron at 
Salona, before the entrance of which they arrived 


on the morning of the 28th. The Turks were 
busily occupied in making dispositions for defence ; 
landing guns, erecting batteries on the shore, and 
collecting from 1500 to 2000 men from the sur- 
rounding posts. 

During the night the sounds of preparation on 
board the steamer floated on the still breast of 
the Gulf; and the watches of the two vessels, from 
time to time, enlivened their labours with answer- 
ing cheers. The morrow was to be an eventful 
day for Greece : on its issue depended the mastery 
of the Gulf, and all the advantages contingent on 
its possession ; but, above all was it to decide the 
highland chiefs, now wavering between Turks and 
Greeks. But still more important and unforeseen 
results were in store. 

The contemplated attack was bold, if not des- 
perate. The memory of the recent failure did not 
tend to diminish the apprehensions which the dis- 
proportion of numbers, and disadvantage of posi- 
tion, might suggest; and prepared, as the Turks 
now would be, it was evident that there was no 
alternative between destruction and success. 

The morning broke in loveliness on the beau- 
tiful and classic scene ; the sun rose in splendour, 
there was not a cloud in the sky nor a breath on 
the waters ; at length, a volume of dense smoke, 
from the funnel of the steamer, shot upwards like 
the iiTuption of a volcano. To the Turks this 
steamer, the first they had ever beheld, was an object 


of wonder and of horror. Scarcely did they deem 
it the work of mortal hands; so strange in its 
form and movements, peopled with beings that 
seemed fresh from the infernal regions ; and so 
dreadful the effects of the projectiles it seemed to 
have received hot from below.* 

The ensuing scene, although myself a sharer 
in its dangers and its triumph, I will relate as 
described to me by one of the officers attached 
to General Church. The Greek army was marching 
along the southern coast, watching the movements 
of the vessels. It halted at Vostizza, which was 
immediately opposite the Gulf of Salona, and dis- 
posed themselves to witness the attack with the 
excitement of an army in ' repose assembled to 
await the decision of its fate by the skill or fortune 
of a single combat. 

The two vessels had to enter a narrow land- 

* Shells, eight inches in diameter, fired from horizontal 
guns, and sometimes used red-hot ; they were, in fact, hollow 
shot, which, from their comparative lightness, skimmed the 
surface of the water in innumerable ricochets. It was thus, 
with a smooth sea, almost impossible to miss ; and this mass of 
red-hot iron, or shell, or hollow ball, pouring out inextinguish- 
able fire, according to the projectile used, was a guest, in a 
structure of wood, canvass, pitch, and gunpowder, which might 
have appalled abler navigators than the Turks. This new com- 
bination of the science of gunnery will, no doubt, greatly 
modify future maritime war and naval architecture ; and this 
first experiment of its power in face of an enemy, gives addi- 
tional interest to the event which I am narrating. 


locked bay, which could be entered only with'a lead- 
ing wind that would prevent retreat, there to attack 
vessels mounting four times their number of guns, 
made fast to the shore, presenting their broadsides 
like steady batteries, with batteries erected on the 
beach, and a couple of thousand soldiers lining the 
shore; and that in a warfare where no quarter 
was expected on either side. 

It was a curious sight to see the black cloud 
from the funnel of a steamer driven by the 
breeze from Achaia towards the Delphic heights 
and Parnassus. It was strange to hear the patter 
of paddle-wheels sounding far and wide on the 
Corinthian wave. The Greek vessels, as they 
rounded the point, came suddenly in view of 
the Turks, drawn up in line at the bottom of the 
bay, and dressed as for a gala scene in broad and 
bloody flags and long streaming" pennants. The 
shore, also, displayed flags of defiance where fresh 
earth batteries had been cast up ; a goodly show 
of green tents and the glittering of arms enlivened 
the hills around, forming altogether a sight less 
enticing than picturesque. " It was only," said 
my informant, " when we saw them turn the point 
that we really felt that the attempt was in earnest ; 
it was only then that we felt all the danger of the 
enterprise, or the consequences of a failure. With 
what anxiety did we watch the white sails and the 
black smoke, as they disappeared beyond the low 
point ! Of what intense suspense was that half 


hour that elapsed between that moment and the 
first distant peal of cannon that boomed along the 
water, and the mist of gray smoke that slowly 
rolled up from the hollow of the bay along the 
side of Parnassus ! After a quarter of an hour's 
incessant cannonade, a black volume of smoke 
suddenly shot to the sky ! Was it friend or foe 
that had 'gone to heaven or to hell?' Our sus- 
pense was not of long duration ; a second volume 
followed, blacker, higher than the first. 'They 
are lost, they are lost!' burst from the compressed 
lips of the astounded Greeks ; when a third explo- 
sion proved that it was the enemy's ships that were 
burning. Then arose the wild notes of that un- 
earthly war-cry; imagination and lungs were ex- 
hausted in metaphors and shrieks." 

Notwithstanding an event which appeared de- 
cisive of the day, an irregular cannonade was 
heard, with little interruption, until sunset. The 
wind had sunk, and a canopy of smoke overhung 
the spot on which their attention was fixed; and 
when the sun went down, and the dark mantle of 
night was spread around, the flame of eleven 
burning vessels shone brightly forth from its 
cloudy pall, and glassed itself in the 

" Waves that saw Lepanto's fight." 

That was a memorable day for Greece — for Eu- 
rope too. Ibrahim Pasha sailed to the Gulf of 
Lepanto from Navarin, to punish the affront, after 


having pledged his word not to quit that harbour. 
He was compelled by Admiral Codrington to re- 
turn. The allied squadrons, which had dispersed 
for the winter, were recalled to Navarin ; and 
what followed need not be retold. 




We journeyed leisurely. There is no menzil or 
post in Greece. I have found it more convenient 
to travel in that country with my own horses : 
provender is always to be procured ; a tent is 
always clean; and one is entirely independent of 
the caprices of muleteers, the want of cattle, and, 
indeed, of almost every casualty that, in these 
countries, falls to the traveller's lot. We were 
three days passing along the Gulf; and would 
willingly have devoted a longer period to this 
portion of our journey, which presented every 
where the appearance of a newly settled country ; 
but our ulterior objects barred all delay. Occa- 
sions were not wanting to fill us with indignation 
at the introduction of the police system, with all 
its demoralising effects. I cannot express the 
alarm with which I now commenced to look to 
the future fate of this country. We afterwards 
learnt that all our steps had been watched, and 
our words and acts reported, at an expense to 


the eleemosynary Government, of several hundred 

The third evening we slept at a Khan close 
to the ancient port (now a marsh) of Panormo, 
where the single Athenian galley was consecrated 
as a record of the defeat of the Lacedaemonians, 
rather than of their triumph. 

A band of eleven robbers, who, the day before, 
had stopped all passengers, pillaged and bound 
them to trees, had left the Khan the same morn- 
ing. They had destroyed whatever they could 
not consume or carry away; so we had but in- 
different fare. One man they had broiled on the 
hot embers to extort from him a discovery of some 
supposed treasure. The peasants were in a state 
of the greatest alarm, and of the deepest indig- 
nation. " Such a thing had never happened," 
they said, " during the anarchy of the revolution." 
The supplies of the soldiery have always been ex- 
acted as of right, " but to touch the belt of a 
Greek, to undo a female zone, were crimes 
unheard of; and now that we have a regular 
Government, that we pay every tax, and obey 
every order — now that our arms are taken from 
us — must we endure what was unknown even in 
our troubled days ?" 

Next morning, we made ourselves very gay, 
to appear becomingly before the beau monde at 
Patrass. From the Khan to the Castle of Morea 

VOL. I. d 


there is blue clay, over which the water from the 
hills spreads, so as to form a deep morass. To 
avoid this, we kept along the shore ; but a Charyb- 
dis awaited us. Though we were keeping within the 
ripple of the Gulf to avoid the morass, suddenly 
our horses began to sink, and before we could 
extricate ourselves we were wallowing in the mire 
and mud, and escaped only by getting into the 
sea, and dragging our horses into the deep water. 
A fine exhibition we made at Patrass on a sunny 
day, covered with mud from head to foot ! 

Patrass is remarkable as having been the point 
of the earliest recorded meeting of the followers of 
Mahomet and the Sclavonic races. The latter, in 
the eighth century, had overrun the Morea; the 
Saracens swept the seas : both united in the siege 
and plunder of Patrass. 

The roughness of the weather, and the want at 
the castles of a boat sufficiently large to transport 
our horses, detained us six days ; which we spent 
very pleasantly between the castle and Patrass, 
with Colonel Rayko, the only Russian who had 
been a Philhellene. He used his utmost en- 
deavours to dissuade us from prosecuting further 
our fool-hardy project of visiting Acarnania and 
.the frontier line. But little did he suspect our 
ulterior project of attempting Albania : I am con- 
vinced that if he had, he would amicably have put 
us under arrest. We had, therefore, to conceal 


it carefully from our friends, lest we should be 
laughed at or forcibly detained ; and from our ser- 
vants, lest they should leave us. 

As we crossed the narrow strait between the 
two castles, the scene was forcibly recalled to my 
memory which I had observed from that spot on a 
former occasion, when I passed these batteries in 
a hostile bark, under the fire of every mouth on 
either battlement. That was a moment of beauty 
on the shore, with its rich and thronging cos- 
tumes, glittering arms, and canopies of smoke. 
The proud excitement, the taunting gesture, the 
insulting scoff that characterised a warfare where 
system, undeviating discipline, and unfathomable 
counsels, had not rendered men machines — gave 
to that struggle all the play of the passions, and, 
to individual character, the developement which 
rendered the wars of antiquity so poetic, and has 
caused the age, whose wars are described with 
greatest truth, to be called heroic. How different 
was the aspect of these battlements now — cold, 
pale-faced, eyeless, voiceless — they gave no 
signs of life to watch, of malice to fear, of hatred 
to excite, of danger to repel! A breath of air 
skimmed and ruffled the glassy Gulf, and my eye 
instinctively sought the flag-staff, to contemplate the. 
now triumphant standard of Greece flouting the air 
in the proud station so long occupied by the em- 
blem of Arabia ! There the Greek now beholds 
another flag — his flag, the flag of freed and so- 



vereign Greece ! But, on the young standard, the 
contrasted colours of the nine alternate bars* por- 
tend a different harmony from that of the muses. 
Compare this pale and chequered standard with 
the gorgeous colours of the Ottoman ; bold, rich, 
and simple — the day star of fortune, and the cres- 
cent of power, emblazoned on a purple cloud. 
Most poetic among standards ! Most spirit-stirring 
among national emblems ! And how much of the 
enthusiasm that stirs the spirit, and nerves the 
arm, may not depend on the poetry of an em- 
blem ? Could a nation — could even a faction — 
exist without the rhetoric of colour ? What, then, 
must not be the effect of clothing the personifica- 
tion of nationality with beauty, and of inspiring its 
martial genius by associating with its glory the sub- 
limest works of nature ? All these are united in the 
standard of the Ottomans, and are combined in no 
other. This, too, is the historic standard, which 
has flown, with the swiftness of a thunder-cloud, 
over Asia, Europe, and Africa, from the palaces of 
Delhi to the foot of Atlas ; from the wastes of 
Abyssinia to the marshes of the Don ; which has 
proved its power on the plains of Tours and Ron- 
cesvalles, before the walls of Vienna, on the Indus 

* The flag of Greece is nine horizontal stripes of blue and 
white, with a white cross in the corner, on a blue ground, in 
memory of the silver cross seen in the sky by Constantine, 
during the battle with Maxentius : whence the labarum of the 


and the Oxus. Thirty years after its birth, it had 
humbled the two greatest empires of that day ; 
and, in eighty years, boasted more tributary lands 
than Rome had subdued in eight centuries. That 
flag had now disappeared from the castles, where 
I saw it so lately, reddened at once with anger and 
with shame ; and, as the Scythians of old re- 
hearsed before the departed, the history of their 
lives, so now did I dwell on the features and the 
story of that personification of Mussulman greatness 
which had sunk before my eyes, while I marvelled 
at the means by which it had been overthrown. 

When I first landed on the shores of Greece, 
more interested in the nature of the rocks than in 
the sanguinary contest which was there proceed- 
ing, I was soon filled with hatred and aversion for 
the Turkish name ; and, with the enthusiasm of 
youthful feeling, I became a partisan. But the 
Ottoman, who had aroused this animosity by the 
violence of triumph, dispelled it when he appeared 
in defeat and captivity, — a personification of stoical 
firmness and of dignified resignation. The sym- 
pathy which is the tribute of misfortune, I now 
transferred to the vanquished ; but that sympathy 
was combined with admiration for a fortitude and 
respect for a character, the energy and durability 
of which I never could have known but for the 
trial to which I had seen it subjected. Thus, one 
who had so lately looked upon the red flag as the 
symbol of bloodshed and devastation, now recalled, 


with interest and with awe, the fasts of its glory, 
the dates and limits of its sway. 

I do not mean to say that the present Mussul- 
man flag, the silver star and crescent on a field of 
red, was the very flag that waved at Bagdad, or 
was carried into Spain, nor even that which was 
originally planted at Constantinople, and thence 
directed, with conquering course, to the Ukraine, 
Vienna, and the Alps. The Mussulman colours 
are green, not red, though other colours have 
been adopted at various periods and in different 
countries. Mahomet's flag was yellow; the Sara- 
cens first appeared under a black eagle ; to 
this succeeded the party colours, white and black, 
of the rival families pretending to the califate. 
The sacred green* was the first colour displayed 
by the Ottomans in Europe ; but it is associated 
with so many national and religious feelings, that, 
however it might tend to inspire the enthusiasm of 
a charge ot an assault, the loss of so highly praised 
an emblem was calculated to depress the spirits of 

* Tokoli displayed his green flag of Independent Hungary 
before the Turkish army, to warm in his favour Mussulman 
enthusiasm. The present Hungarian flag is green, white, and 
red. At a very recent period, the Circassians, in adopting 
a national flag, selected green, not more to have a national 
emblem by which they were distinguished from their enemies, 
than to indicate to their coreligionists to the south, that the 
existence of all they held dear depended on the maintenance of 
the standard unfurled on the Caucasus. 


an army. In 1595, the first Turkish flag was 
taken by Sigismond, Prince of Transylvania, and 
sent to Pope Clement VII. The colour was then 
changed from green to red ; the star and crescent 
were Byzantine emblems, borrowed, with many 
other things, from the Greeks. This change by 
the Turks of their national colours, indicates great 
sensitiveness to national honour. The Romans 
concealed the real name which they had given to 
their city, that a foreign army might not evoke the 
Penates before their walls. Venice concealed so 
effectually the stolen bones of St. Mark, that no 
trace of their existence has been found. Both 
nations dreaded that the bond of their political 
existence would be dissolved, if the symbols of 
worship and nationality passed into other hands. 

I said, I looked for the flag of Greece, waving 
over these battlements that guard the Gulf of 
Lepanto, in the place of the Ottoman standard, 
but it was not there. I looked for one flag-staff, 
and I saw three, side by side, like the three crosses 
on a Catholic Calvary. One bore a white sheet 
sans taclie and sa?is meaning or expression. One 
mingled angles of red, white, and blue, with more 
geometry than poetry in its folds, however inspir- 
ing may be the ten centuries of its manhood, or 
the wide-spreading zones that own its sway. The 
third displayed cross-bars of blue on a field of 
white, like an upset hour-glass, and representing 
icebergs and snow. England, France, and Russia, 


the powers under whose joint command are placed 
above 290,000,000 of men, had united to displace 
the Turkish flag ; occupying its territory as friends ; 
burning its vessels as allies ; blockading its ports 
as neutrals ; protocolising Greece as wellwishers 
— strange enigmas for an age not gifted with an 
GEdipus ! 





We were received at Lepanto by the Commandant, 
Colonel Pieri, a Corfiote, who was chief of the 
artillery, and who entertained us, almost as much 
as himself, with the relation of his various gallant 
exploits. We had here our first conversation with 
some Suliotes on the protocol. They strongly 
expressed their grief and their alarms, but said 
that the fear of appearing to oppose the inclination 
of the cabinets, and of beinsr thought bv them tur- 
bulent and fickle, prevented the nation from mak- 
ing any public demonstration of their feelings. 
Indeed, they said, but for this, the government of 
Capodistrias would not be endured a day. 

There are 500 Greek families remaining out of 
1000. 6000 stremmata* belong to the Greeks, 
and 25,000 to the Turks, which are now national ; 
but so inferior are the Greek to the Turkish 
lands, that, although the latter are taxed two- 
thirds more, the Greeks abandon their own to cul- 
tivate them. 

* A stremrna is nearly a third of an acre. 


20th May. — We left Lepanto at daybreak, and 
passed through a little fertile plain, that extends in 
a semicircle from the base of Rizina, on the extre- 
mity of which stands Lepanto, to the lower mame- 
lons of Mount Corax, which descends to the Castle 
of Roumelie. The roots of olive-trees are thickly 
scattered over it ; it is marshy towards the sea, 
but the marsh might easily be drained. The low 
hills, above the castle, through which we passed, 
are formed from an aluminous and earthy stratum, 
easily carried off by the water; it is tHus cut 
out into little detached masses, with abrupt sides, 
the intervals and summits flat, and proper for cul- 
tivation ; while the precipitous sides might bear 
every variety of tree, and render the scenery en- 
chanting. We saw nothing of the warm and sul- 
phureous springs in the vicinity of Kakascala, 
which gave the epithet of " stinking" to this por- 
tion of the Locrians. The pass is of the greatest 
natural strength, the path winding over the face of 
the mountain, which drops nearly a-peak into the 
sea. After crossing a lower ridge, we reached the 
beautiful little valley of Cavouro Limne, where 
Miletius places the ancient Molycria. Here, under 
the shade of some lofty platan i, a fire was soon 
made ; we hung up our arms on the branches ; 
turned out our horses to graze on yellow, white, 
and purple clover, wild oats, and corn. Our car- 
pets were spread, and soon appeared the cofFee- 
tray and refreshing pipes. 



This little but enchanting valley afforded a 
prospect seldom to be met with in the Morea. It 
is surrounded by irregular, but not lofty, hills of 
soft sandstone, varying in form and character, 
sometimes bare, sometimes wooded. It is traversed 
by two streamlets with deep beds, whence spring 
rows of spreading and beautiful Oriental plane- 
trees. It is after having been deprived for some 
time of the sight of trees, that one really enjoys 
the beauty of their foliage and forms, and the 
freshness of their shade — that one feels their 
loveliness or learns their value. The prospect of 
the hills that now surrounded me was no less a relief, 
wearied as my eyes had been with the monotony 
of the calcareous mountain chains of the Morea, 
devoid alike of picturesque and geological interest, 
rendered fatiguing by the abominable paths which 
lead across them, and by the absence of fountains 
and of shade. 

I was also delighted to find myself again in 
Western Greece; a country studded with exten- 
sive ruins of the most remote antiquity, which, 
though laid low, even at the epoch of Grecian 
splendour, served then for the models of Grecian 
military architecture.* It was inhabited by men, 
who, bringing with them the refinement and sci- 
ence of Greece, and the activity of her race, 

* Nun fill TiTcnrtHiwtizvxt to ol TrccXxtoi T^oryyiuot, tm 'EAAesSoj »j» 

t*vt« t« KtivfActrx. — Strabo, lib. i. c. ii. p. 3, 


sought and found, on a richer soil, refuge from the 
persecutions, and repose from the endless and 
blood-stained dissensions, that distracted the Pelo- 

This country has been peculiarly the field of 
mythological and poetic fiction. Its military 
strength, so important to the conservation of the 
new state, is illustrated by the events of the wars 
of Philip, of the Romans, the Goths, the Gauls, 
and of the late revolution. If it was the happiest 
and only peaceable portion of Greece during the 
days of her ancient splendour, the reverse has 
been its lot from that period up to the present, — 
from its depopulation, under Augustus, for the 
peopling of Nicopolis, to its depopulation by the 
late protocol, for no purpose whatever. 

An hour and a half* from the river of Cavouro 
Limne, we beheld the Evenus through a belt of 
majestic platani and tall willows, which formed a 
sort of drop-scene to a little woodland theatre. 
The river wandered over its large and stony bed, 
in rapid but limpid streams, and glittered through 
the curtain of deep green foliage. A bank on the 
other side rose steep and broken, and matted with 
shrubs. It required no great effort of the fancy to 
restore to this Thespian scene the fabled groups of 
Meleager and the Boar, Dejanira and the Centaur. 

* It is scarcely necessary to observe, that distances are 
calculated by hours ; hour, in the East, as the stund of Ger- 
many, may be translated league. 


Keeping the river to the right, we wound round 
the base of Mount Chalcis, and sought in vain for 
vestiges we could have called by the names of 
Makynia and Chalcis, and, on the other side of the 
river, of Tophiasson and Caledon. The difficulty, 
generally, is to find names for the multiplicity of 
vestiges ; we were now embarrassed with an abun- 
dance of names, without a cornice or a broken 
column to fix them on. But, after crossing the 
river, on ascending a slight eminence to the right 
of the road, which immediately overlooks Hypo- 
chorion, we found ourselves, unexpectedly, in the 
midst of most extensive Hellenic ruins, which, 
with Strabo in hand, we imagined might be iden- 
tified, most satisfactorily, with old Plevrona. It is 
much to be regretted that Strabo had not visited 
these countries himself, and that the only con- 
nected account that has been preserved of Western 
Greece should be so meagre in general description, 
and, when it descends to details, sometimes so con- 
fused. Miletius is here worse than nothing ; but, 
at all events, better than Pouqueville. Polybius is, 
indeed, the only companion for Acarnania and 
Etolia ; and from Thucydides must be borrowed 
the only glimmering light which can be thrown on 
the disputed positions connected with the Amphi- 
locian Argos. 

But to return to Plevrona. "The Evenus," 
says Strabo, " after running by Calydon and Chal- 
cis, directs its course, westward, to the plain of the 


old Plevrona, and then turns towards its mouth 
and the south." Now, it is at the bend of the 
river thus described, that rises the hill crowned by 
these ruins, which are, in extent and style, of a 
first-rate order. Some of the stones were nine 
feet long : the wall is generally nine feet thick ; at 
one part, which seemed to join the two Acropolido, 
it was barely five feet, with buttresses of 4J feet 
square, strengthening it on the inside, and on 
which, probably, planks were laid, to form the 
banquette. The walls surround two summits, on 
each of which seemed placed an Acropolis ; that 
towards the north partly Cyclopean. The elevated 
plateau, enclosed within the contour, may have a 
circumference of 3000 paces ; the lower area is at 
least as extensive. A few bricks and tiles, harder 
than the stones, were the only relics I could see. 
Greek faction has made for itself a record, in the 
total subversion of such walls and such a city. 

While passing through the suzu^og xupwog of 
Plevrona, we overtook several people with mules, 
laden with all their worldly gear. They told us 
that they had escaped from the vicinity of Janina, 
with the intention of going to settle in Greece, but 
that they were stopped at the Castle of Roumelia, 
and 12 per cent, ad valorem, demanded for their 
mules and baggage. Not being able to pay the 
money demanded, and exasperated at being flung 
back on the vengeance they had aroused, they 
were returning to the country they had abandoned. 


"Thousands," they said, "are preparing to fly 
from Albania ; but we shall tell them what ili i ri yfci 
(liberty) means." 

I know not whether the impolicy or the inhu- 
manity of this measure is most to be reprobated. 
On arriving at Missolonghi, we mentioned the cir- 
cumstance to the district Governor, who declared 
the demand was entirely without the sanction of 
Government, and that he should instantly have a 
stop put to it.* 

Three hours after sunset we arrived at the 
gate of Missolonghi. We knocked, and sent for 
permission to enter, which was denied ; we asked 
for food, and could obtain none; — commence- 
ments of civilisation worthy to be recorded ! And 
such regulations are literally considered as suc- 
cessful imitations of Europe. Our servants and 
tent had preceded us while we were examining 
the ruins of Plevrona (from which we did not get 
away till it was quite dark), with orders if they 
found that we could not be admitted after sunset, 
to pitch without the walls. We could neither 
see nor hear any thing of them ; but one of our 
horses very sagaciously broke loose ; and, in pur- 
suing him, we stumbled over the cords of the tent, 
to which he had led us. 

At Missolonghi, we spent three days almost 
constantly listening to, or engaging in, discussions 

* It is superfluous to say, that no stop was put to the 
exactions complained of. 


on the Protocol and the limits ; the circumstances, 
means, and prospects of Acarnania; and the por- 
tions of Etolia excluded from the new state. A 
great number of the Greek chiefs and old Arma- 
toles were here assembled, Vernachiotes, the 
Grivas, and others who considered themselves 
half Tacticoes, that is, who were enrolled on the 
list of irregular regulars ; while others were wholly 
untamed, and termed themselves rebels, gepTeXkot, 
in contradistinction to the regular troops.* 

The insufficiency, in a military point of view, 
of the new limits, was so apparent, that ridicule 
was mingled with exasperation. I must say I was 
no less surprised than confused by the shrewdness 
of some of their remarks, — " The Duke of Wel- 
lington," said they, " is the first military man in 
Europe ; we, of course, rejoiced that such a man 
was to decide on the question of our limits. He has 
commanded in Spain, where the mode of warfare re- 
sembles our own ; and mountains, woods, and rocks, 
defy discipline and science ; but what are we to 
think of this Protocol that pretends to make peace 
by taking from us the very positions for which the 
war is made, and the only defences by which 
peace is at this hour maintained ?" I remarked, 
that the Duke of Wellington was deceived by 

* These regular irregulars are in a state of transition from 
the former hordes to disciplined troops, being subject to a 
regular succession of subordinate grades, but not being disci- 


faulty maps ; " Then," retorted they, " he should 
have looked at events. It is not this war alone 
that has proved that Greece has two gates, and 
that you need not shut the one if the other be left 
open ; and, besides, the positions we have been 
able to occupy, and by occupying which (without 
the assistance of a Protocol) we have maintained 
peace for the last twelve months, must be the military 
boundaries : if it were even possible to find better, 
these ought to be sanctioned." 

If the possession of the excluded district could 
at all advantage the Turks, it would be by esta- 
blishing strong colonies to cut off all communi- 
cation between Albania and Greece. But this, 
of course, is entirely out of the question. With 
Greece independent, the Porte dare not foster the 
system of Greek Armatoles as formerly. No 
Turkish population could be induced to settle 
between the Albanians and the Greeks no longer 
dependent on the support of the Turks for pro- 
tection against the Albanians ; so that this dis- 
trict, thus torn from Greece, and laying it bare to 
the ravages of the Arnaouts, instead of being of 
advantage to Turkey, will only serve to maintain, 
by the attractions of plunder, the turbulence of 
the Albanians ; to maintain incessant quarrels 
between the Porte and the Greek state, and to 
perpetuate a feeling of hostility by an interchange 
of recrimination and wrong. If the alliance acted 
with the avowed object of convulsing the East, it 

vol. i. e 


would deserve praise and admiration for its intel- 
ligence and ingenuity. Such were the observations 
of Makri and Grivas. 

The English bear all the odium of the measure. 
The surrender of the Greeks of Parga to their 
Albanian foe disgraced the name of England, which 
before had been looked up to with awe and respect. 
Subsequently, the policy that ejected from the 
Ionian Islands the families of those who were 
denominated Clefti by Ali Pasha (see Hobhouse), 
assisted in throwing this province into Ali Pasha's 
hands. The people now imagine that the present 
measure is a continuation of the same policy. No 
doubt, these past events would never have recurred 
to them, or the impression thence derived would 
not have been deep or general, but for the activity 
of the Government authorities and agents in spread- 
ing these reports. 

We were exceedingly gratified with the man- 
ners, style, and appearance of the majority of the 
Roumeliote chiefs. They are, certainly, a fine race 
of men ; their vices arise immediately from the 
slippery circumstances in which they have been 
placed ; but, whence comes their urbanity, their 
knowledge of the world, facility of expression, 
acuteness of observation, that ardent desire for 
acquiring information, and facility of applying it ? 

Missolonghi is a place of which it would be 
very difficult to give an idea to one who has not 
seen Turkish and Greek warfare. A pigmy imita- 


tion of a bastion and curtain does exist on both 
sides of the gate, but the contour of the place is 
nothing more than an enclosure of wicker-work 
supporting earth ; round this runs a narrow ditch 
with three feet water. This enclosure and ditch 
sweep round in a semicircle from shore to shore, 
looking to the north. There is, however, a display 
of engineering which I must not omit to mention, — 
a lunette to which you might leap from the top of 
the wicker-work with a slight indication of coun- 
terscarp and glacis. The whole height of the 
enclosure, from the bottom of the ditch, could 
nowhere, except at the gates, exceed twelve feet. 
I speak from recollection, but I think I am rather 
over than under the mark. 

The Turks drew three parallels round the 
town, the nearest within four or five yards of the 
ditch with numerous zig-zags ; these with the 
breaching batteries and the lines thrown up at a 
greater distance, for the protection of their various 
camps, have cut up the whole plain in the most 
extraordinary manner. The fact of its being ulti- 
mately reduced by famine, notwithstanding the 
prosecution of the siege in so regular a manner, 
the slightness of its defences, and the multitudes 
of its assailants, excuses, if it does not justify, the 
vanity of its gallant defenders. 

The ground is all worked into holes, and torn 
up by the bursting of the shells and the plunging 
of shot. The soil is a mixture of earth and iron ; 

e 2 


broken shells and shot being mingled with it as 
stones ; and within and without the circumference 
are scattered the now whitened bones and skulls 
of men and horses. 

They had just been collecting the skulls of the 
Greeks, which were distinguished from those of 
the Turks by the positions in which they lay. 
They paid peculiar veneration to those which 
strewed the line by which the remnant of the 
garrison made their last and desperate sally ; and 
a few of whom only succeeded in cutting their 
way through. I picked from out the heap one 
beautifully formed skull, which bore the traces of 
four wounds. It was grazed across the forehead 
by a pistol-ball ; behind, on the right side, two 
back-hand sabre strokes had ploughed, but not 
penetrated the bone, and a deep cleft gaped over 
the left brow, — of course, wounds received in 
cutting through an enemy. This skull was long 
a very cumbersome companion. 

The garrison lived in holes dug in the earth 
close under the walls, but were sadly galled by 
the Turkish fire crossing from every point. 
Every vestige of building had disappeared from 
what once had been the town, except the ruins of 
some stone houses near the beach. From the 
extent of circumference, the shells fell chiefly in 
the centre, and were thrown so high by the Turks, 
that they sank into the earth to a great depth, 
and, bursting under ground, did little injury. 


Two hundred houses had been now rapidly run up 
or restored ; a little bazaar was beginning to look 
gay, and coffee-houses to be thronged with idlers 
playing billiards and eating ices. We assisted at 
the shaving of the bridegroom, and at the toilet of 
the bride, of the first marriage since the destruction 
and restoration of their town. 

We had a long chat with the father of the 
bride, who had saved her alone of a numerous 
family. Their past sufferings seemed lost in the 
happy present ; and the exultation of feeling 
that pervaded all classes, was perfectly beyond 
my power of description, and was a repetition 
of what a year before I had witnessed in the 
Morea; no starvation, no alarms, no hurried 
flights, or trembling suspense, no emaciated coun- 
tenances and squalid looks, ruined hearths and 
tattered clothing; but, in their stead, flesh and 
health ; peace, plenty, and contentment ; gaudy 
dresses and festive sounds. But, among these 
revellers, must not be numbered the remnants of 
the populations affected by the Protocol. 

We quitted Missolonghi with regret, and were 
escorted to the gate by part of the family of 
Makri, an old chief who had for years main- 
tained a lawless independence in the Echinades, as 
legitimate successor of the king who mustered 
thirty ships for the siege of Troy. He was one 
of the chief defenders of Missolonghi, and his 
wife and daughters had headed the fatigue parties 


of the women during the night in working at the 
fortifications ; eastern decorum constrained the 
women not to work by day. When we got into 
the plain, we were stopped continually by the 
ditches, zig-zags, and entrenchments, filled with 
water and mud ; nor was it without some danger 
and damage, and a couple of hours of laborious 
toil, that we reached the base of the hill on which 
stand the ruins called Kyria-irene, between two 
and three miles from Missolonghi. These ruins, 
we imagined, from their style, extent, and position, 
to be the new Plevrona : the hill on which they 
stand, a portion of Zygos, is a prolongation of 
Callidromos. From its summit, we had a beautiful 
and extensive view of the plain of Missolonghi 
immediately below us, of the coast from the mag- 
nificent Mount Chalcis to the Echinades, the 
Lagunes, and the Vivaria (fish preserves), shut 
from the sea, and intersected by long straight lines. 
Round to the right, the Venetian Anatolico lay 
floating like a lotus on its little gulf. The plain 
rolled out below, is rich alluvium from the Achilous 
and the Evenus, but offers little now to redeem 
the honour of Plenty's choice, although a fatter 
pollution than the Centaur's blood has fertilised 
the Caledonian fields; and the Achelous, with his 
u fat waters," has gone on assembling new islands. 
The Vivaria, Strabo tells us, were farmed by 
Romans of Patras, but their extent and value must 
now be much greater than formerly, and they are 


so amazingly stocked, as to seem quite alive. I 
heard applied to them an expression I remember 
used by the Hungarians in speaking of their 
Theisse, " they smell of fish." Thus, the fertility 
of the earth has been replaced by the productive- 
ness of the sea ; Neptune is enticed over the land 
to form reservoirs for the finny tribe, instead of 
being excluded, as elsewhere, to make room for 
the ears of Ceres; and the Amalthean horn, to 
typify the wealth of its favoured plain, must now 
exchange its golden sheaf and ruby fruits for 
kegs of salted fish and strings of smoky rows. 

But the scene beneath, extending from the 
Curzolero rocks, or Echinades, to the opposite 
coast of the Morea, possesses an interest of another 
kind : here was fought one of the greatest of naval 
actions, and one which has exercised a more last- 
ing influence on the state of Europe than any 
other sea-fight, from the battle of Actium to that 
of Trafalgar. On the 7th of October, 1571, close 
upon the shore now reposing in silence at our feet, 
and on the waters now tranquil as a lake and un- 
dotted by a single sail, were engaged in deadly 
combat, five hundred gallies ; the waters, for the 
space of ten miles, were covered thick with a mass 
of human beings, breathing rage and dealing death ; 
combining the savage excitement of ancient war 
and weapons with the sublime horrors of modern 
artillery. When the sun went down on this scene 
of carnage, two hundred and fifty wrecks lay mo- 


tionless on the waves, reddened by the life-blood 
of five and thirty thousand men. Such was the 
scene presented by that memorable battle of Le- 
panto, the recollection of which Cervantes, in his 
old age, declared to be dearer to him than the 
right arm it had cost him. 

The forces of the Turks and of the allies (the 
Pope, Spain, and Venice) were pretty nearly equal ; 
both equally eager for the combat, — equally 
confident of success ; and on either side, their dis- 
tinguished leaders inspired confidence, excited emu- 
lation, insured scientific combination, and boded a 
desperate struggle. The Turks were stationed at 
anchor, eastward of Missolonghi ; the Venetian 
fleet, running down the coast of Acarnania and 
passing between the Curzolero Islands, came un- 
expectedly in sight of the enemy. The first divi- 
sion of the allies, under Doria, bore away to seaward 
so as to allow the centre and rear divisions to come 
up, and form the line of battle abreast : their line 
stretched four miles, the interval of a ship's length 
being left between each vessel. 

" Immediately as the Infidels were discovered," 
says the animated narrative of Contarini, "that 
happy news ran from ship to ship. Then began 
the Christians right joyfully to clear their decks, 
distributing arms in all necessary quarters, and 
accoutring themselves according to their respective 
duties : some with harquebusses and halberts, 
others with iron maces, pikes, swords, and poniards. 


No vessel had less than two hundred soldiers on 
board ; in the flag-ships were three or even four 
hundred. The gunners, meantime, loaded their 
ordnance with square, round, and chain shot, and 
prepared their artificial fire with the pots, grenades, 
carcasses, and other instruments requisite for its 
discharge. Every vessel was dressed with flags, 
streamers, pennons, banners, and banderols, as on 
a day of jubilee and festivity ; the drums, trumpets, 
fifes, and clarions, sounded : a general shout rang 
through the armament ; and each man invoked for 
himself the Eternal Trinity and the Blessed Mother 
of God ; while the priests and many of the captains 
hastened from stem to stern, bearing crucifixes in 
their hands, and exhorting the crew to look to 
Him who had descended visibly from Heaven to 
combat the enemies of His name. Moved and 
inflamed by ghostly zeal, this great company as- 
sumed, as it were, one body, one spirit, and one 
will ; careless of death, and retaining no other 
thought except that of fighting for their Saviour. 
Those who had mutually inflicted or suffered 
wrong, embraced as brethren, and poured out tears 
of affection while they clasped each other in their 
arms. Oh blessed and merciful omnipotence of 
God, how marvellous art thou in thy operations 
upon the faithful ! " * 

The fleets at first approached each other slowly 

* Contariui, 48 b. 


and majestically ; the sun had already passed the 
meridian, and shone therefore dazzlingly in the 
faces of the Turks ; and a westerly breeze spring- 
ing up just before they closed, gave the allies the 
advantage of wind also ; so that when the can- 
nonade began, the smoke was driven full upon the 
Infidels. A Corsair who had been sent forward to 
reconnoitre, not having seen the rear division, 
reported erringly of the Christian numbers ; and 
stated, moreover, that the large galeasses in the van 
carried guns only on their forecastles. The Turks, 
therefore, bore up to them fearlessly, supposing 
that when their bows were passed, all danger was 
at an end. Great, then, was their consternation 
when a close, well-directed, and incessant fire, in 
which every shot told, from the admirable level of 
the guns pointed much lower than those of the 
loftier Turkish vessels, burst from each broadside, 
scattering destruction over every object within its 
range. The wind blowing in their teeth kept the 
Mussulmans long exposed to these deadly volleys ; 
and whenever at intervals the smoke cleared away, 
they saw a horrible confusion of shivered spars, 
yards, masts, and rigging : here, galleys split asun- 
der ; there, others in flames ; some sinking, some 
floating down the tide, no longer manageable, their 
banks of oars having been shot away ; and every 
where the face of the sea covered with men 
wounded, dead, or drowning.* 

* Contarini, p. 51. 


Ali Pasha and Don John, each distinguished by 
the standard of chief command, singled each other 
from the melee. Thrice was Ali's galley boarded, 
and his crew driven to their main-mast ; and thrice 
were the Spaniards repulsed ; till, at one critical 
moment, Don John, pressed by an immeasurably 
superior force, which had hastened to the Pasha's 
assistance, appeared lost beyond the possibility of 
rescue. By the seasonable advance of a reserve, 
Don John was enabled to renew the combat with 
his distinguished antagonist; and as his boarders 
grappled again with the Pasha's galley, and sprang 
once more upon its deck, Ali fell by a musket-shot, 
and his crew threw down their arms. The Pasha's 
head was severed from his body, set upon the point 
of a spear, which Don John himself displayed from 
the top of his own mast. The grisly trophy, soon 
recognised, struck terror into the whole Mussulman 
fleet, and decided the hitherto wavering fortune of 
the day. 

The shout of " Victory " from the main battle 
of the allies was answered by the same glad word 
from their left, but on the right the engagement 
was still continued with less assured success. 
Doria had swept round in a wide and distant com- 
pass, as if to outflank the enemy ; and had, con- 
sequently, not yet been in action. The practised 
eye of Ulucci-Ali perceived at once the great 
advantage thus afforded him by the breach in the 
Christian line ; and bearing down upon fifteen of 


their ships thus separated from their mates, he 
captured a Maltese and set fire to a Venetian 

The superiority of the tactics of the Algerine 
commander continued to baffle Doria, till he boldly 
dashed onward through the line which he had 
already broken, made for the Curzolari, and ef- 
fected his retreat with between twenty and thirty 
of his squadron. This small remnant, with a reserve 
of about an equal number, were all that remained 
of the vast Turkish armament after five hours' 
battle. Fearful, indeed, was it, says Contarini, to 
behold the sea discoloured with blood and shrouded 
with corpses ; and piteous to mark the numberless 
wounded wretches tossed about by the waves, and 
clinging to shattered pieces of wreck ! Here might 
you observe Turks and Christians mingled indis- 
criminately, imploring aid while they sank or swam ; 
or wrestling for mastery, perhaps on the very same 
plank. On all sides were heard shouts, or groans, 
or cries of misery ; and as evening closed and dark- 
ness began to spread over the waters, so much 
more was the spectacle increased in horror. 

The Turks lost in this naval action the scarcely 
credible number of 40,000 men, killed, prisoners, 
and emancipated, and above 200 vessels of war ; 
yet, within sixteen months of this murderous defeat, 
the triumphant alliance had been dissolved, and a 
treaty signed which obliged Venice to pay tribute 
to the Porte ; " making it appear," says Voltaire, 


" as if the Turks, not the Christians, had gained 
the battle of Lepanto." But the cause of this 
event is simple enough : in six months, by an 
effort paralleled only by the Romans in the first 
Punic war, the Turks had equipped a fleet equal 
to that which they had lost, and more than a 
match for the allies, who, declining combat, could 
not keep the seas. Nevertheless, the victory of 
Lepanto saved Venice, and prevented the invasion 
of Italy or Spain by the Turks. Should the 
possessor of Constantinople again menace the 
Mediterranean, it is to be feared that Venice, 
Barcelona, and Ancona, will equip no fleets to 
maintain the independence of their common inhe- 
ritance. The once Queen of the Adriatic possesses 
no Doria now ; Spain, no John of Austria, for 
whose brow again might grow the laurels of 






At Anatolico we slept at the archbishop's, where 
the frontier line, the only subject the people have 
any inclination to speak about, was inflicted on 
us again all that evening and the next morning. 
Somehow, the topic assumed always a new form, 
and we were not unentertained by the militant 
prelate Porphyrius's version and opinion. He had 
formerly been Archbishop of Arta; but, during 
the revolution, had " zoned himself," wore pistols 
in his belt, and, on some occasion, led a cavalcade 
with the cross in one hand, and the sword in the 
other. We went to see the spot in the church 
where a well was luckily opened by a shell, whilst 
the Pasha of Scodra was besieging the town, and 
was on the point of reducing it from want of 

Against regular military operations Anatolico 
might be much more easily defended than Misso- 
longhi, which, indeed, has no facility for defence 
whatever ; although far preferable for a Greek 


defence and a Turkish attack, as the event has 
proved. The Greeks little dreaded breaches and 
storm, but they feared the overwhelming and un- 
ceasing showers of shells, which the great extent 
and soft ground of Missolonghi rendered less de- 
structive than they would have been in the circum- 
scribed space and rocky soil of Anatolico. 

The 25th. — From Anatolico to Niochori the 
distance is an hour ; thence to Catochi, where you 
cross the Aspropotamus, another hour. Turning 
to the left, and descending the river, half an hour 
brought us to the ruins of Trigardon, enclosing, 
within an extensive circuit of Cyclopean and Hel- 
lenic walls, three hills, which once must have been 
an island of the group of the Echinades. Nearly 
one half of the circumference touches the extensive 
marsh of Lezini. On the northern side, within the 
marsh, there appears to be remains of a port. A 
deep canal leads through the marsh from the sea 
to that point, and in its course none of the reeds 
were to be seen, which made the rest of the 
marsh, as far as the hill on the north, ten or twelve 
miles off, appear like a plain covered with green 

We were much surprised at the extent and 
magnificence of the ruins of Old Plevrona, com- 
pared with the confined extent of the country. 
New Plevrona surprised us still more ; but Tri- 
gardon, and the numbers of Hellenic remains we 
now perceived on all sides, filled us with wonder. 


Here were monuments of wealth and power, 
crowded into the space of one day's march, ex- 
ceeding, in this almost unknown corner, all that 
remains of the glory of the Peloponnesus. But, 
then, it is to be remembered, that these were the 
fields for which the Augean stable supplied the 
manure ; where the arm of Hercules held the 
pitchfork ; where the agricultural science and the 
industry recorded in this mythological language, 
were blessed with the bounty of the earth and the 
tribute of the sea. No wonder, then, that it' should 
be here that 

" Plenty leapt to laughing life with her redundant horn." 

Therefore were such structures raised to defend 
the goods which the gods bestowed, and to bear 
testimony, at the distance of two thousand five 
hundred years, to the refinement that accompa- 
nied so much energy, and the science that was 
associated with so much prosperity. 

An elegant young lad, of whom at Catochi we 
inquired our way to Trigardon, offered to accom- 
pany us. He mounted his horse, and shewed us 
that which was most interesting, and which might 
have taken us days to find by ourselves. We 
regretted we had sent our tent on, and thus had 
but a few hours to wander about. The thickness 
of the underwood, and especially of the black 
thorn, which has every where been our arch- 
enemy, rendered difficult the visiting of every 


portion, and completely prevented us from exa- 
mining what must have been the ancient port. 
A large tower, of Hellenic construction, even now 
nearly fifty feet high, defends the harbour, as it 
were, against the city ; and polygonal walls, which 
stretch from the tower, and encircle the port, are 
connected with the ramparts by walls evidently of 
another date. Among these ruins the polygonal 
construction prevailed ; but entirely destitute of 
the characters of antiquity to be traced in the 
Cyclopean remains of Tyrins, or even of Mycene. 
The stones were of nearly equal dimensions, beau- 
tifully joined and chiselled on the edges. While 
scrambling over the wall encircling the port, we 
came, much to our surprise, to a gateway in the 
polygonal wall, with an arch over it. The arch 
was very flat, nearly semicircular, the stones that 
formed it preserving their polygonal character. 

Although this arch exists in a wall of that style 
of architecture which belongs to the remotest an- 
tiquity, yet I do not claim for it equal rank with 
the ruins of Plevrona and Chalcis, or even with 
those of the age of Pericles. Still, I think it may be 
referred to a period anterior to the arrival of the 
Romans in Greece ; and, if so, it will prove that, 
though arches were not commonly used, they were 
at least known in Greece before the Roman con- 
quest. The ruins of Kyria Irene afford confirma- 
tion of this hypothesis. The small posterns in the 
walls are arched, although the arch is composed 

VOL. I. F 


sometimes but of two stones, that meet from either 
wall, hollowed out into a semicircle ; but the arch 
is also at times formed of three stones, one of 
them a regular key-stone. At the same place 
there is a large cistern in the rock, traversed by 
three walls, in each of which there are several 
arches : but though their form is Gothic, the 
principle on which they are constructed is Hindoo. 
The dome of the building at Mycene, commonly 
called Agamemnon's Tomb, is formed by a suc- 
cession of circles, narrowing as they rfse, each 
circle being a horizontal arch. 

Trigardon (a corruption of a Sclavonic term 
for three cities) must be the ancient (Eniadae. If 
a doubt existed, it would be dispelled by compar- 
ing the description I have given of the port, and 
the walls connecting it with the ramparts, with the 
following passage from Polybius, in the wars of 
Philip the Second with the Etolians. After his 
successful incursion into Etolia, and the sack of 
Thermus, Philip retired on (Eniadae, his fleet 
having been sent to that point to await the return 
of the army to the coast. The Etolians prepared 
to defend this strongly fortified place ; but on the 
approach of Philip they were panic-struck, and 
evacuated it. Philip took possession ; thence 
ravaged the Calydonian territory, and deposited 
the booty that had been collected within its walls, 
" remarking," observes the historian, " the admir- 
able position of this city, placed at the confines of 


Acarnania and Etolia, on the mouth of the Ache- 
lous, at the entrance of the Corinthian Gulf, distant 
only 100 stadia from the coast of the Pelopon- 
nesus ; strong, besides, by its fortifications, and the 
surrounding marsh — he determined on strength- 
ening it. He surrounded, therefore, the port and 
naval station with a wall, and joined these to the 

Our guide told us, that there were in some 
parts subterranean crypts, or altars (fiapot), to 
which, when a child, he had been taken down ; 
the sides covered with paintings (&yycaf<a), not 
those of saints. He did not, however, recollect 
the place. There is a theatre cut in the rock, the 
right and northern horn supported by a mound, 
and faced with polygonal masonry ; the southern 
extremity with Hellenic, and a flight of steps 
beyond the seats. The area is almost thirty-five 
paces across ; twenty rows of seats, two and-a-half 
feet deep, run all round, and, perhaps, double that 
number behind. This city has been overturned 
as completely as its contemporaries ; but it is so 
much wooded, and so extensive, that it is with 
more difficulty examined, and may contain unex- 
plored archaeological treasures. 

The sun was not far above the horizon, when 
we reluctantly quitted the ruins. We had to 

%u(>u vvterycct 5T£0f TK* *%£cci. — Polyb. iv. 65. 

r 2 


return to Catouna; thence it was two hours to 
the monastery of Lezini, and an equal distance 
to Gouria, the village where we had directed our 
tent to be pitched. We determined on taking the 
road to the monastery. Like every path in 
Greece, the road to Lezini was scarcely distin- 
guishable from the sheep-walks ; it lay, besides, 
over a thickly wooded hill, and it was not without 
great self-gratulation (unattended as we were), 
that we found ourselves, half an hour after dark, 
on the border of the marsh, but the monastery 
stood in the middle of it ! We were now, indeed, 
in a dilemma ; we shouted and hallooed for half 
an hour, and received but jackal cries in answer. 
What was to be done? We were exceedingly 
fatigued, equally hungry, and particularly disin- 
clined to adopt either of the alternatives of re- 
tracing our steps, or of lying down supperless on 
the cold rocks amid the croaking of myriads of 
frogs, whose innumerable voices rising from so 
great an extent of marsh (twenty or thirty square 
miles), falling into a sort of measure, might be 
compared to pulsations of the earth. I therefore 
stripped, tied my shirt round my broad-brimmed 
straw hat, and committed myself to the Naiads of 
the marsh. But I made a sad mistake in my 
estimate of distance. The night was pitch dark ; 
a canal leads through the marsh to the monastery; 
the sides seemed firm, but when I attempted to cling 
to, or to climb upon them, I sank in the slime, or 


got entangled in and torn by the thorns and 
broken reeds. I was thus compelled to keep to 
the clear channel, and the water presently, having 
reached my shirt and hat, weighed down my head, 
and closed my ears. Swimming slowly along in 
this far from enviable predicament, I suddenly 
perceived (for I could not hear at all) a boat close 
upon me, and on the point of running me down. 
I shrieked out with all the emphasis that could be 
given by sudden fright, and a mouthful of water. 
The boatman, not a whit less terrified at the 
inhuman cry from the water, and the sight of a 
white floating substance like an enormous water- 
lily, under which form they personify the goul 
or spirit of the marsh, shrieked and roared in 
his turn ; punted away with all his might, ran 
foul of the bank, and, tumbling head over heels, 
lost his pole. He then paddled away back to 
the monastery with the seat of the boat. I 
had nothing to do but to swim after him, when, 
fortunately, I stuck upon a knot of reeds, clung to 
them to rest myself, and thus raised my head with 
its wet load for a moment out of the water. Cries 
from a short distance met my ear of, " Who are 
you ? " " Turn back." " Speak, or we will fire ! " 
and only, after a quarter of an hour's assurances 
and explanation, was I permitted to approach the 
bank, having the comfortable assurance, repeated 
over and over again, that twenty muskets and a 
nine-pounder full of grape were pointed upon me. 


in faith of which the lighted match was held up 
and whirled about. Even in the shivering, lace- 
rated state in which I was, I could not help 
making myself merry at their warlike preparations; 
but, having convinced them that I was no spirit, 
for in that case I would not have asked their 
permission ; that I was no robber, or I should not 
have made such an outcry; and that I was but 
one naked individual ; they allowed me to land, 
and gave me the warmest reception that had ever 
fallen to my lot. One took his shoes off to put 
on my feet ; another slipped off his fustanel to 
wipe me with ; another wrapped me in his hot 
jacket ; and my toilet was completed, to the in- 
finite amusement of the whole party, with the 
canonicals of the venerable Abbot. In this state 
I went, or was rather lifted along, to the monas- 
tery, which was at some distance, while the boat 
was sent for my companion. Upon the distance, 
he and I could never agree : he made it but half 
a-mile; I, at the least, a mile and a-half: and, 
surely, having swam it, I should know best. 
The Greeks were much amazed at this feat ; it 
had only been once performed before, though 
hundreds had perished in attempting it in escaping 
from the Turks. 

The Abbot's best suit was brought out for me. 
An old Calogria, or nun, who was living in sisterly 
love with the Abbot, had me bathed in hot water 
and rubbed with oil, as there was not a square 


inch of my skin untom; and summed up her 
solicitous attentions by a restoring cup of Greek 
athol aroge — hot rakki and honey. 

Lezini is a small, low, rocky island, in the 
marsh of that name, which extends from Petala to 
Trigardon. In some places it is separated only 
by a narrow beach from the sea, and, nearCatouna, 
it approaches the banks of the Aspropotamos. It 
has the appearance of a fertile plain, covered with 
tall and green reeds, the roots of which spring 
from, and bind together, a constantly increasing 
crust of decayed vegetables. This forms a second 
soil, which will not bear the foot, but which, being 
two or three feet in thickness, is perfectly imper- 
vious to boats. It is supended four or five feet 
at least from the bottom, but does not float, for 
the winter floods rise over its surface. Canals 
traverse it from the shore to Lezini, thence to 
Trigardon ; from Trigardon to the discharge to 
the N. W. ; thence another canal winds along 
the northern shore, and turns round to Lezini. 
The discharge is near Petala, and the fall of the 
stream suffices to turn a mill ; so that, according 
to the construction of their mills, it cannot be less 
than eight or ten feet. This makes me think that 
a cut from the marsh to the sea would probably 
convert the greater part of this immense and 
noxious morass into fertile fields. Besides, the 
lowering of the water in this basin might ren- 
der it possible to lead through it the waters of the 


Achelous, where they would deposit, as in a tank, 
the immense load of earth now carried by that 
river to the sea.* 

It has been supposed that the marsh of Lezini 
is one or both of the lakes to which Strabo gives a 
length of twelve miles. The resemblance of the 
sounds of Cynia and Lezini is adduced in confirm- 
ation of the supposition ; and the difference of the 
breadth is accounted for by the gradual encroach- 
ment of the shore on the sea. I am inclined, 
however, to think that those lakes were further to 
the south, and are now become a portion of the 
firm land of the Paracheloitis. He enumerates 
them in proceeding southward ; after GEniadse, 
comes Cynia, then Mylete and Uria, and then 
the Fish Marshes ; so that they must have lain 
between the northern mouth at GEniada? and the 
ancient southern mouth, or Anatolicon Stomma, 
now Anatolico. I am, therefore, of opinion, that 
Lezini is a marsh of recent formation. 

As far as I could judge of the nature of its 
bottom, it is clay. The alluvial deposits have, of 
course, grown more or less ; but I have invariably 
remarked on these shores, that clay bottoms, them- 
selves liable neither to increase nor decrease, in- 
variably indicate a depression of the coast. By 

* Its modern name of Aspropotamos or '• White River," is 
derived from the colour of its charged waters, which whiten the 
sea around the Curzolero Islands, and render it daily more 


the evident construction of Strabo's words, the 
marshes of Cynia, &c. were to the south of the 
Achelous. There are there no marshes of import- 
ance now ; the soil is alluvial, and its level has 
been raised by natural growth. To the north of 
the Achelous there were no marshes ; * now there 
is a very extensive one, its bottom is clay. Leu- 
cadia was formerly connected with the Continent 
by an isthmus of dry land over which the Lacede- 
monian galleys were dragged. That peninsula is 
clay ; it is now covered with water. The Roman 
paved road along the northern shore of the Gulf 
of Arta runs over clay : that road was certainly 
not constructed under water; there is now four 
feet of water over it. The ancient Aby, the ruins of 
which are called Phido Castro, was certainly not 
built in the water ; it is now only accessible by 
boat. The entrance of the Gulf of Corinth is 
stated by Strabo to be seven stadia; it is now 
twice that breadth : the land on either side is low, 
and the stratum is clay. Of course, wherever the 
coast is alluvial such depression cannot be visible ; 
and, on the contrary, such spots have risen as 
compared with the level of the sea. 

I regretted much not having had time to ascer- 
tain this point satisfactorily by more extensive 

* Polybius mentions a marsh round (Eniadae ; that was with 
reference merely to the defence of the town : had a marsh any 
thing resembling that of to-day then existed, the place must have 
been uninhabitable. 


observation ; but, in favour of the supposition of a 
depression of the coast, I would also adduce the 
comparatively small increase of the Deltas of the 
Evenus and Achelous in modern, compared with 
remoter, periods ; a circumstance which, in Pau- 
sanias' time, had already been observed, since he 
attempts to account for it. 

On the highest parts of Lezini are the ruins of 
a Venetian fortress of respectable extent, with very 
thick walls. The island has constantly been a 
place of refuge during the revolution ; and is the 
only virgin spot of Greece. When the Pasha of 
Scodra ravaged Acarnania, the island was crowded 
with nine hundred fugitive families. The youthful 
Pasha and his Ghegs, burning with vengeance for 
the irruption into their camp, and the havoc made 
among them by Marco Bozari * and his handful of 
heroes, arrived on the borders of the marsh exult- 
ing in the prospect of immolating to their lost 
comrade the fugitives assembled in the island. 
They attempted to establish a footing on the 
treacherous crust of the lake ; their foot soldiers 
were entangled, horsemen dashed in, and horse 
and rider were quickly swallowed up. The checked 
and disappointed horde now dispersed over the 
hills, stripped the branches from the trees, and 
commenced forming hurdles to establish a passage. 
But their unorganised efforts were of no avail ; 

* Though the story of his entering the Pasha's lent is a 
sheer fabrication. 


when they made some progress, their weight, ill 
adjusted to their precarious causeway, opened a 
passage through the yielding crust ; whole masses 
were engulfed ; more were entangled amid the 
reeds, or half buried in the slime. The crafty 
Albanians, who had cheered them on, now sneered 
at their woful plight ; and the Greeks from the 
island sent forth shouts of derision and defiance, 
and, secure behind their rocks, plied their u nine- 
pounder " and their muskets. It was next deter- 
mined to fell trees and construct rafts ; but where 
were hatchets to be procured ? Delay was occa- 
sioned. The country around was entirely depopu- 
lated, and provisions were scarce. The few tools that 
were procured were soon rendered worthless, and 
no progress was made. Th§ choler of the Pasha 
having, in the meantime, had time to cool, he per- 
ceived that " lejeu ne valait pas la chandelle ;" and 
at length moved on. His army, which for muscle, 
stature, animal courage, and devotion to its leader, 
was one of the finest that of late years has followed 
a Turkish banner, was thus led about exposed 
to be cut off in detail, and to expend its energies 
on rocks and marshes, through the intrigues of the 
Southern Albanian Omer Vrionis. A miserable 
remnant alone returned to Scodra in the winter of 
1823. The rising inclination of the Ghegs to 
interfere in the affairs of their neighbours was 
checked ; and the Greek war remained, as before, 
a source of plunder, pay, and importance, to the 


military Mussulman* populations of middle Al- 

The next morning we bade adieu to the exha- 
lations of Lezini, and recrossed the Aspropotamos, 
at Gouria, where we got sight of our tent. A 
Suliote Captain, stationed at the passage of the 
river, hearing that we were expected, had prepared 
a feast, in which, of course, figured the roasted 
lamb, with a Suliote's frank and hearty welcome. 

We pushed on that night along the left bank of 
the Achelous, through an enchanting and parklike 
country, and pitched our tent close to the ruined 
little village of Angelo Castro, nestled behind a 
pointed hill, on which stand a portion of a lofty 
Venetian tower, and a small dilapidated chapel. 
From this point we had an extensive view of the lake 
Ozeros, of the river, and the disputed plain, as far 
as the corners of the lakes of Vrachori and Angelo 
Castro, on the extreme right. Immediately below 
runs a clear and rapid stream, over which is a 
bridge, and around it one of the sweetest glimpses 
that wood and water can afford. 

The boundary line proposed by the Protocol 
just comes up to the fertile plain that nourishes 
the inhabitants of all the surrounding mountains, 
and then turns off to the east, leaving the plain 
without the Greek state. It is well wooded, 
chiefly with oak, but interspersed with gigantic, but 

* In Mustapha Pasha's army only one-sixth were Mussul- 
mans, the remainder were Christians. 


distorted Italian poplars and elms. There appear 
all over it the nearly effaced traces of myriads of 
irrigation canals, intersecting each other at right 
angles ; a system which here was at one period 
carried to the highest perfection. The luxuriance 
of the trees, brushwood, and wild oats, barley, and 
grasses, that cover the country, while they produce 
the most beautiful and picturesque effect, recalls 
at every step the regret that such a country, after 
the struggles it had made to obtain independence, 
should be again abandoned to the ravages of Alba- 
nian invasion. We met several muleteers who 
had escaped from the vicinity of Janina, and had 
abandoned their possessions, but not without infi- 
nite risk and difficulty : little, however, did they 
anticipate the reception that awaited them in 
" free" Greece! 





There are many provisions of the Protocol'besides 
the limits, the practicability or justice of which 
may, perhaps, be easily explained in London, but 
which are very difficult to comprehend in Greece. 
For instance, the Greeks and Turks have each 
permission to dispose of their possessions. What 
would be the value of a Greek's property in those 
districts so ravaged, when the proprietor himself 
seeks to abandon it ? But the property of the 
Turk in Greece has disposable value. Moreover, 
land unjustly acquired may thus be disposed of 
without reference to the real proprietor, who may be 
alive, or who may be the farmer of his own fields.* 
Ali Pasha was obliged to give up his project of 
sending a pilgrim to Mecca because the law re- 

* This refers merely to the districts mutually ceded in con- 
sequence of the decision of the Conference. In the remainder 
of Greece, the Turkish property, by a fallacy which I cannot now 
enter into, was constituted as appertaining to the Sultan, and 
confiscated for the benefit of the Greek state. 


quired the expenses to be defrayed by the sale of 
land ; and the possessor of millions of stremata did 
not hold, according to the decision of the Turkish 
cadi, property, legitimately acquired, sufficient for 
this purpose. 

This is a fearful and gigantic exhibition of 
wrong. It is not to be accounted for, by saying 
that Ali Pasha was a great tyrant. It is not to 
be explained, by saying that Turkish Pashas do 
such things. Our eyes have rested with intense- 
ness on Greece alone of all the dependencies of 
the Ottoman Porte ; and there two former revolu- 
tions, followed by wars and subjugation, have 
led to the confiscation of property. In Egypt, 
the rule of the Mamelukes, even before the 
wholesale robbery of Mohammed Ali Pasha, had 
there also familiarised us with the violation of 
private property, and led to the idea of its insecu- 
rity in Turkey. Without entering into the prin- 
ciples of their government, or recurring to past 
events, a single consideration will, I think, suffice 
to shew, that the Porte must have habitually 
respected property and local customs ; and that 
consideration is, the extent of dominion and the 
past history of the small tribe denominated Osman- 
lis, who actually rule over Greeks, Turks, Alba- 
nians, Illyrians, Bulgarians, Servians, Wallachians, 
Jews, Armenians, Turcomans, Lesguis, Curds, Ma- 
ronites, Druzes, Bedouins, Berbers, Copts, Moors, 
&c, exceeding twenty times their own number. 


The fact which I have mentioned, respecting 
the unjust possessions of an Albanian Pasha, brings 
to light, at the same time, an indication of the 
fundamental principles of Turkish jurisprudence. 
In a matter where law and religion were both 
combined, the Turkish judge stood forth to utter 
a withering decision against the (t Albanian Leo- 
pard " in his hour of apparent omnipotence. 

The policy of the Porte had been to control 
the Albanians by fostering the Greek Armatoles, 
or militia; but the insurrections of 1770, and, more 
particularly, of 1790, which had been organised by 
a Christian power, and of which religion had been 
made the active principle, drove the Porte into 
hostility with this Christian militia, against whom 
it now combined with the Mussulman Albanians. 
And, perceiving the intimate knowledge of Russia 
of the internal state of Turkey, I should not be 
surprised if the overthrow of the Greek militia 
had, in reality, been the object she had in view 
in revolutionizing the Morea; a measure which, 
without this solution, would appear to have been 
ill advised. 

The preponderance which the Albanians now 
acquired led to the granting of the horse-tails to 
an Albanian, — that is to say, that to those warlike 
bodies, which the Porte had hitherto restrained, its 
authority was now delegated ; the circumstances 
were, consequently, reproduced which first led the 
Greeks to call in the Turks. The fountains of 


justice were broken up ; and in this internal revolu- 
tion of power, throughout which the finger of 
foreign diplomacy is at every step to be traced, 
Ali Pasha then, as Mohamet AH Pasha now, be- 
came possessed of a disciplined force which ren- 
dered practicable such violations of private rights ; 
whilst not only the weakness, but the general 
discredit thence resulting, has fallen on the Turkish 
Government, to enfeeble still further its controlling 
power. Singularly enough, the Alliance has min- 
gled itself up with these violations to legalise them. 
This, to be sure, is a minute point ; but the whole 
questions that have absorbed the deep contem- 
plation of the Great Allies, affect property which, 
even in extent, scarcely equals the estates of the 
Duke of Sutherland. 

Again, as to allowing a year to Greeks and 
Turks to retire to their respective countries. Could 
the Turkish Government, while it yet commanded 
a fortress or a man-of-war, consent to a measure 
which would place in jeopardy the whole landed 
property of the empire ? Had the Alliance such 
an object in view when they penned the provi- 
sion ? To carry it into effect, you must have ap- 
pointed agents to see this liberty of emigration re- 
spected, and thus made the European, or perhaps 
the Greek consuls, the dictators of Turkey. The 
consequence of this liberty of emigration is still 
more serious, and could still less have been endured 
by the conference, had they understood the effect 

VOL. i. g 


of their own measures. The communities are, 
more or less, in debt : the individual peasants are 
jointly responsible for these debts ; if one or more 
quits his village, the burden falls on the remainder. 
Suppose, then, that the right to emigrate is pro- 
claimed under the sanction of the three great 
powers of Europe, the immediate effect would be 
a general panic. The very agitation of such a 
measure must disturb all relations of private in- 
terest, and convulse political order and adminis- 
tration. If the provisions of the Protocol were not 
intended to go this length, they were perfectly 
ineffective and nugatory ; as, in fact, they have been 
found to be, except in so far as they threw Greece 
back again into uncertainty, Turkey into agitation 
enabled Capodistrias to deter Prince Leopold from 
accepting the proffered crown, and brought about 
the reverse of those objects that England desired, 
and that the Alliance professed. 

After passing through the plain, from Angelo 
Castro, a distance of rather more than two hours, 
we arrived at the Turkish burgh of Zapandi. The 
minarets of two ruined mosques stand picturesque, 
but melancholy objects. As we wandered through 
the deserted streets, hundreds of ravens croaked 
from the tops of the walls, on which they seemed 
as if they had long remained in undisturbed posses- 
sion. This is a scene in a small province which 
the great powers of Europe had for three years 
been labouring to pacify. 


Half an hour further on, we reached Vrachori, 
capital of the district. We passed for some time 
amidst the ruins hefore we were gratified by the 
not very common sight of a roofed house. At the 
corner of the once bazaar stood a venerable pla- 
tanus, the trunk of which measured nearly twelve 
yards round ; and a little further on, a tall pole 
spread to the breeze a shabby Greek flag, as if 
jealous of every moment it had yet to flutter in 

A thunderstorm delayed us in the house of 
the Governor. We there saw the Primates of the 
place, who prognosticated the disasters that must 
ensue from the cession of the country, and of this 
plain in particular, which gave winter work, and 
summer food, to the inhabitants of the surrounding 
mountains. They spoke of the Makronoros as their 
saviour and friend, and seemed very incredulous of 
any protection the European powers could afford 
them, if the barrier of the Makronoros were thrown 
open. From being the most independent subjects 
of the Porte ; where the Turkish inhabitants of the 
country were at best but on a footing of equality 
with the Greeks ; where no Turkish troops were 
permitted, and no Turkish authority, excepting the 
cadi or the judge, existed ; — they were reduced by 
x41i Pasha to a state of subjection below that of the 
rest of his dominions, as he wished to extinguish 
their martial spirit, which, since the commencement 
of the Ottoman rule, had limited, on this side, the 

G 2 


excursions of the Albanians. The Captain was 
their military chief; the Codga Bashi, the civil 
chief. The first held his situation on the nomina- 
tion of the Greek municipality ; the latter was a 
municipal officer (or council, as the number varied), 
annually elected. The Cadi, or Mousselim, was 
there to give the sanction of Turkish form to 
the authority of the Captain ; but his influence was 
slight, save when there was dissension among the 
Greeks. The Bishop was the depositary of the 
higher judicial authority ; and when he required 
the secular arm, he applied to the Cadi, who com- 
manded the Captain to enforce his decrees. The 
impositions, which were very trifling, were, as else- 
where, apportioned and collected by the municipal 
body, and consisted of charatch, for which they 
compounded, the tithe and house-tax : besides 
these, they assessed themselves for the Captain's 
pay and for local expenses. 

This policy of the Turks of balancing the power 
of the Albanians by the Greeks, dated from their 
establishment at Adrianople. Indeed, the Turks 
first appeared in Greece as friends and allies. 
This statement may appear at variance with re- 
ceived opinions, and I may, therefore, be excused 
for entering into some details to substantiate it. 

After the fall of Constantinople, Demetrius and 
Thomas, the brothers of the last of the Paleologues, 
retained the Peloponnesus. It might have afforded 
a refuge and a sanctuary to humbled pride and 



fallen greatness, if disasters and misfortune could 
ever have driven from the breast of the Greeks, the 
vain aspirations which have unceasingly urged 
them to sacrifice that which they did possess, in 
the pursuit of what was beyond their reach. But 
Demetrius and Thomas had no sooner secured 
each a fragment of their distracted patrimony, 
than they quarrelled between themselves. The 
Albanians, who had been gradually attracted by 
the service offered them under the various Despots, 
seeing the shrivelled house of Byzantium divided 
against itself, withdrew from the service of both 
Princes, and prepared to impose upon the degene- 
rate and unwarlike, though yet warring Greeks, 
a yoke more to be dreaded even than that of their 
Latin conquerors, from whom the Morea had been 
so lately, and not altogether, emancipated. 

Demetrius and Thomas, united by the common 
danger, offered tribute to the conqueror of Con- 
stantinople, and claimed his assistance. Scarcely 
had they been united against their Albanian foes, 
when a Cantacuzene was found to head a revolt 
amongst the Greeks against themselves ; and the 
Albanians, who had occupied, or ravaged, the 
greater part of the champaign country, sent also 
to the Porte to offer their submission, and a tribute 
for the Morea, if allowed to hold it as a fee from 
the Porte. " At this period," says M. von Hammer, 
" would the empire of the Greeks in the Pelopon- 
nesus have been entirely extinguished, if the Greek 


commander of Corinth had not requested, and ob- 
tained, from the Sultan, a Turkish succour. Tura- 
khan, who, thirty years before had conquered 
Hexamilia, and had penetrated to Lacsedemon, 
Leontopoli, and Gardica, and had routed the Alba- 
nians at Tavia, now again returned, with his sons 
and a Turkish army, as the allies of the Greeks, 
and to defend the Peloponnesus against the Alba- 

Chalcondylas, in relating these events, puts 
the following words in the mouth of the Turkish 
commander, as addressed to his countrymen : 
" You must have been ruined if the Sultan had not 
been moved with compassion for you, and come to 
your succour. It is clear you have not governed 
your state as you ought to have done ; but now an 
absolute necessity requires you to govern your 
subjects in future in a better manner." The Turk- 
ish veteran further holds up to their imitation, 
what he asserts to be the secret of his countrymen's 
success ; viz. securing the love of their subjects in 
peace, and inspiring their enemies with terror in 

The Albanians were driven from the Pelopon- 
nesus, and pursued, by the Greeks and Turks united, 
even into their own mountains. But scarcely had 
Turakhan withdrawn with his Turks, when a revolt 
broke out against the two Despots ; and after four 
years of revolt, treachery, massacre, and anarchy 
— in which figured, now as allies and now as 


enemies, the two Greek rivals, the Greek party 
opposed to both, the Albanians and the Turks : a 
bloody campaign put the Turks in possession of 
smoking cities and a devastated country. Thus was 
again enacted, and from the same causes, the in- 
tervention of Rome in favour of Greece which had 
taken place 1500 years before ; and in an equal 
period of time, through the same national cha- 
racters of vanity and faction, did Greece disappoint 
the hopes, and provoke the vengeance, of her libe- 
rators; so had she hailed Rome as a saviour to 
curse her as a tyrant ; extolled a Flaminius to the 
skies, and denounced a Glabrio, with the damning 
volubility of her tongue. In four years Greece 
saw her Latian allies united to her old Macedonian 
oppressor ; and after the extinction of that king- 
dom, the savage devastation dispensed by Mum- 
mius far exceeded the destruction which afterwards 
followed in the rear of Alaric. 

This is a very singular coincidence : Romans 
and Turks appear as protectors of Greece ; and 
both people, within the same period of four years, 
became its oppressors. It would, however, be 
most unjust to compare the acts of Mummius with 
the advice of Turchan, and the last part of the 
Roman intervention with the first portion of the 
Turkish.* This, however, is what M. Von Ham- 

• About the same period has sufficed for the Alliance to 
extinguish the customs, laws, and independence of the Greeks ; 


mer does, reversing the picture, and comparing 
the first portion of the Roman with the last of the 
Turkish intervention. He terminates in these 
words, the tragic scene of the conquest of the 
Peloponnesus : — ( * What a picture of volcanic 
horror is this, and what a contrast with the glorious 
brightness of the conquering Consul of Rome, 
Quintus Flaminius, who, on the day of the Isth- 
mian games, with no less humanity than policy, 
on assembled Greece, which, agitated and doubt- 
ful, expected its fate, conferred, in the midst of 
universal jubilations, the dream of liberty!"* 

But having, for the purpose of pointing out an 
honest error of judgment in a man of high and 
merited scholastic reputation, referred to one of 
those books which are written on the East, I am 
reminded of a literary effusion of a descendant and 
representative of that class of Greeks who, after 
sacrificing the throne of Constantine, and ruining 
the Peloponnesus, coiled themselves round the 
heart of the Ottoman empire ; who corrupted the 
simplicity of the Turkish system by their political 
doctrines, the primitiveness of the Turkish pastoral 
habits by the servility of their own bearing and 
conduct ; and who, after dismembering the empire 

but the ingenious Alliance has been labouring in its disinterested 
efforts solely for " the pacification of the East." 

* M. Von Hammer's work has since appeared in French : 
it is very singular that this passage is omitted. 


by their intrigues, now stand forth to glory in their 
treachery towards those whom they served. I 
allude to M. Jacovaki Rizo's work, entitled 
" L'Histoire Moderne de la Grece." Gibbon, in 
quoting four Greek authors of the lower empire, 
of whom two were statesmen, and two were monks, 
remarks, that " such was the character of the 
Greek empire, that no distinction is observable 
between churchmen and politicians." So the work 
of If. Rizo, without his name and titles as " first 
minister of the Princes of Wallachia and Moldavia," 
as minister for foreign affairs, and commissioner 
under Capodistrias, and member of several of the 
subsequent administrations of Greece, would cer- 
tainly have been taken for the production of a 
monk, conceived in a cloister, and penned upon a 
lutrin, in the intervals between penance and 
liturgy. Religion (that is, the ceremonial of the 
Eastern church) is, with him, the all-explaining 
cause, the all-directing impulse ; and, speaking of 
the state of the Greeks under Turkey, and of the 
causes of their revolution, he reduces all these 
questions to points of theology and church-govern- 

The only interesting part of his book is the 
anecdotes he gives us of the Mussulmans, which 
are all, without exception, instances of benevolence 
and of tolerance : and these, in verification of the 
old proverb, that the antidote grows beside the 
poison, present themselves in singular contrast 


with the opinions which his work is intended to 
promote, and the epithets in which it so courage- 
ously indulges. 

M. Rizo, how and why it matters not, is unac- 
quainted with the fact that the Turkish policy had 
always been directed to support the Greeks against 
the Albanians. But this is not enough ; he dis- 
covers in the strength of these very Albanians, the 
oppressors of the Greeks, the proof that the Greek 
religion had been the preserver of the remnants of 
Greece against the hostility of Islamism. He lays 
Phranza and Chalcondylas aside, and speaks as 
follows : — " Whilst the rapid successes of the 
Turkish arms filled with affright the Christians of 
the Eastern church, whilst Mohamet II. occupied, 
without resistance, the island of Mitylene, Attica, 
the Peloponnesus, and Eubcea, a Greek displayed 
to his co-religionists the example of heroism, in 
braving alone,* with his little army, all the forces 
of the conqueror. This Christian hero was — 
George Castriote, Prince of Epirus!! surnamed by 
the Turks, Scanderbeg. Alone, and during thirty 
years, he struggled against the power of Murad 
and Mohamet; destroyed their armies; infested 
their provinces ; and ceased to conquer only when 
he ceased to breathe. His government did not 

* Were the Caraman princes, and the remnants of the Sel- 
jouks, no allies of Scanderbeg? Were Humiades, the king of Ser- 
via, and" the Impaler" of Wallachia, no enemies of Mohamet ? 



survive him ; but Epirus and Albania learned, from 
that moment, to despise the Turks. From that 
epoch dates the establishment of the Christian Ar- 

Is it possible to conceive a greater jumble of 
facts and sense than is exhibited in this paragraph ? 
An Albanian ! and a Catholic ! and, moreover, a 
Mussulman renegade ! positively set down as a 
Greek, in the political and religious acceptation of 
the word, by a Fanariote historian of Greece, by 
a professor of Greek history, by a minister of Free 
Greece, and by the most philosophical and the 
most distinguished Greek writer of the present 
day! The victories of the historic enemies of the 
Greeks are set down as — the date and the source 
of the establishment of the Greek Armatoles : the 
establishment of which is of prior date to the 
victories of Scanderbeg. But the adherents of 
Scanderbeg were finally subdued. How then, 
supposing them to have been Greeks, could their 
victories have led to this organisation ? 

" Albania," he says, immediately afterwards, 
" by its inaccessible mountains, the warlike spirit 
of its inhabitants, the extent of its coast, its prox- 
imity to the Venetian possessions," (and, why does 
he not add, by its adhesion to the Latin creed ?) 
" was terrible to the Ottoman Government. Mount 
Agrapha, the natural bulwark of Epirus" (that is, 
the limits of the Greeks and the Albanians, and 


the bulwark, at this day, of the former against the 
latter), " was the first country which obtained, by 
capitulation, the prerogative of having a captain, 
with a sufficient number of soldiers, to maintain 
order, and to preserve the security of its towns 
and villages. Its inhabitants obtained from Mu- 
rad II." (that is, before the war with Scanderbeg) 
" the right of having two deliberative voices out of 
three in the administration of their civil affairs. 
The Turkish judge had the first ; the Greek 
bishop,* the second ; and the Greek captain, the 
third. This right subsisted to the time of Alt 
Pasha. This organisation was subsequently ex- 
tended to all the provinces of Continental Greece." 
— Page 49. 

Speaking afterwards of the Albanian chiefs, 
whom, with his usual accuracy, he terms " feudal," 
he says, — " There existed, therefore, between 
these Mussulman chiefs" (they were not their 
Mussulmans) " and the Ottoman Porte, a reciprocal 
mistrust and animosity, which turned to the profit 
of the Greeks of these provinces" (he means 
Christians, for there is no Greek population in 
them) u in consolidating, more and more, the con- 
stitution of the Armatoles, in strengthening these 

* It was the Codga bashi, or municipal authority, which 
had the second voice ; but that would not have suited the 
religious theory. 


mountaineers in their retreats, and in facilitating 
the commerce and the industry of the Christian 
inhabitants of the towns." — Page 53. 

Was it not worth the while of a man, clothed 
with the character of a statesman, and aspiring to 
that of a philosopher and a historian, to dwell, 
at least for a moment, on the extraordinary fact 
here recorded ? 

The descendants of Scanderbeg, Christians 
then, are now Mussulmans, and still stand in 
precisely the same relation to the Porte ; whilst 
the Greeks, protected by the Porte against the 
Albanians, then and now, are in both cases Christ- 
ians. The following extract will shew at once 
the power deliberately granted to the Greeks, 
and the union of their interests with those of 
the Turks. 

" From the origin of their conquests in Thes- 
saly, the Turks established, in the vast plains 
watered by the Peneus, a Mahometan colony drawn 
from Iconium, and which, up to the present day, 
bears the name of Coniar. These colonists, peaceful 
agriculturists, soon became an object of con- 
tempt to the Albanians, who pillaged them with 
impunity.* The neighbouring Pashas not being 

* It was not the Albanians who pillaged them, but the 
Sclavonians. It would be curious to know the cause of the 
substitution of the name of the one people for the other. But 
without looking to other associations, the true statement of the 
fact which he raistates is the complete overthrow of his theory, 


able to reduce these numerous bands of Ma- 
hometan* (?) and Christian robbers employed 
against them the vigilance and the courage of 
the Armatoles, or Greek Captains. Thus did this 
Greek body continue always to be recognised by 
the Government; and was so far from being an 
object of mistrust, that the Hospodars of Wal- 
lachia and Moldavia were authorised to draw from 
them the guards of their persons and their prin- 
cipalities." f 

Thus will it appear from the testimony of three 
writers inimical to the Turks, and the last of whom 
wrote expressly during the war to make out a case 
against them, and to excite sympathy for the 
Greeks ; that the Turks appeared in Greece on the 
requisition of the Greeks, and twice restored to 
them their country, after overthrowing the Al- 
banians; that, when they did occupy it, they 
left the assessment of taxes to the inhabitants ; 
established an elective council in each district; 
organised a Greek militia, with elected officers; 
and, I may further add, that they imposed no 

because this Turkish population was placed as a barrier to the 
ravages of a population which professed the Greek creed ; 
namely, the Bulgarians. 

* The word " Mahometan" is certainly here only introduced 
to keep the word " Christian" in countenance. At that time 
there were no Mussulman Albanians. The changes rung on the 
words " Greek" and " Christian" are very amusing. 

f " L'Histoire de la Grece," p. 54. 


restriction whatever on commerce, and exacted 
no retribution or fees of any kind for their own 
clergy or church. A comparison with these 
principles, of those which have regulated the 
colonial policy of some other nations, might be 






The plain of Vrachori is supposed to contain 
35,000 acres, of which 25,000 belonged to the 
Turks, and 10,000 to the Greeks. From the sur- 
rounding mountains of Carpenizi, Agrapha, Cra- 
vari, and Patragick, 10,000 men descend to work 
during the winter, which is here the season of 
labour; and, in exchange for their work, carry 
back with them Indian corn and grain for six 
months' consumption, and the little foreign luxu- 
ries they require. Peasants from other districts, 
having some property, and Vlachi, a distinct race 
of shepherds, originally from Wallachia, were ac- 
customed to rent land from the Turks, for the 
season : 4000 labourers, from the Ionian islands, 
were in constant employment. Of resident pro- 
prietors, there were 1300 hearths in the plain, and 
200 in Vrachori. Not above a third of these are 
to be seen at present. 


The position of Acarnania, and the character 
of its inhabitants, rendered it peculiarly liable to 
the excitement of the revolution ; and, though 
they had heard of the defeat of Ypsilanti, yet the 
state of Albania, and the necessity, which then 
became apparent, of supporting Ali Pasha against 
the Porte, at once excited and perplexed them. 
On the 21st of May, 1821, the whole country 
suddenly flew to arms ; 1600 Albanians and Turks 
were butchered, or shut up in their castles ; and 
Isko, with a handful of men hastily collected, 
occupied the important passes of Makronoros just 
in time to arrest the progress of Ismael Pasha, 
who, on the first indication of insurrectionary 
movements in the South, was hastening to quell 
them before they gathered head. The Greeks, 
startled at the new position they had assumed of 
resistance to a Turkish authority, were with ex- 
treme difficulty retained by their leader at their 
posts, and brought to fire on the Turks, who 
advanced, boldly and exposed, ridiculing the very 
idea of open warfare. After a few minutes of 
appalling indecision, a close and deadly discharge 
struck the Turks with amazement and terror, and 
filled the Greeks with confidence and exultation : 
the door was closed to all reconciliation, and the 
revolution was sealed. But, to return to our 

When the weather cleared up, we galloped 
down to the Bridge, across the lake of Vrachori, 

vol. i. H 


or rather the Marsh, which separates it from the 
lake of Angelo Castro. It had previously been 
very sultry ; but now the freshness of the woods and 
fields, the coolness of the air after the storm, the 
stillness of the two lakes that reflected, in unruffled 
mirrors, the surrounding mountains, presented one 
of the calmest and most beautiful landscapes. The 
bridge, of thirty arches, seems like a low and nar- 
row causeway crossing a marsh ; but the water 
is "clear and in rapid movement among the trunks 
of the trees ; the bottom firm, and filled with 
sedges : alder, ash, fig-trees, and elms, festooned 
with creepers, grew out of the stream. The whole 
country wears the aspect of luxuriant harvest. 
We rode through fields of fern, which covered 
our horses, and wild oats, some heads of which 
were taller than man and horse. The borders of 
the lakes are exceedingly marshy, and the lakes 
themselves very shallow, especially that of Angelo 
Castro : they abound in fish and eels, and are 
filled with tall reeds. In the various passages of 
the Turkish troops, the inhabitants took refuge in 
these marshes : on one occasion, 500 families had 
made themselves habitations by fixing posts and 
branches, and binding together the growing reeds. 
The Turks made desperate efforts to destroy 
them ; many horsemen perished in attempting to 
reach them ; rafts and monoxylos were made use 
of, but they could not penetrate in sufficient num- 
bers, and were singly exposed to the fire of the 


Greeks. The Turks attempted to set fire to the 
reeds, but they would not burn : and, lastly, they 
attempted to starve them out ; but the shores of 
their little sea were open to them, and, like the 
Ichthyophagi of Herodotus, they were supported 
by the fish beneath their dwellings. 

Next day, we sent on our servants to pitch 
our tents among the ruins of Stratus, ourselves 
starting in the direction of the ruins of Thermus, 
as laid down by Pouqueville. We traversed a 
mountain stream, ascended and descended thickly 
wooded and steep hills, and, after losing our way 
several times, at last climbed an abrupt hill of 
solid, rectangular form, that appeared from the 
plain below like a fortress. This rock was crowned 
with the ruins of the ancient Thermus ; very little 
agreeing, however, with Pouqueville's description.* 
The ancient gate still gives access to the fortress ; 
the remains of the massive walls, formed into tam- 
bours, with small stones and earth, supported with 
wicker-work, have oftentimes served, during the 
late struggles, as a place of refuge for the inha- 
bitants of the country.f 

* Those fortress-looking rocks are masses of conglomerate 
overlying sandstone ; and wherever they appear on elevated 
positions, they have been chosen for the erection of places of 

t The position of Thermus having been the subject of con- 
siderable antiquarian controversy, in consequence of a passage 
of Polybius ill understood, and of the descriptions given by 

H 2 


We spent a considerable portion of the day 
in examining the country from this elevated spot. 
It was not till we had descended the most rugged 
part, and had untied our horses, which had been 
grazing below, in a beautiful recess, on the richest 
clover, that we recollected that we had four and 
a half hours' march to the ford of the Aspropo- 
tamos. To pass this ford by daylight, without 
guides, was said to be impracticable ; and the sun 
was already bordering on the horizon. We pushed 
on rapidly through Vrachori and Zapan'di; but 
neither the last twilight, nor the clear moonshine, 
shewed us any traces of the road. After galloping 
over the plain, I climbed one of the loftiest trees, 
and, to my surprise, perceived the extensive and 
white bed of the Achelous (Aspropotamos) within 
a quarter of a mile. The stream was rapid, broad, 
troubled, and, apparently, deep ; we dashed in, 
however, nothing daunted, and were soon on the 
dry ground beyond it, laughing at the accounts we 
had heard : but we soon discovered that our en- 
terprise was only begun, as the more formidable 
streams and eddies were still to be breasted, with 
quicksands between, in more than one of which we 
got entangled. Our horses were soon knocked 
up, and the adventure was gradually despoiled of 

Pouqueville, I consign to an appendix an account of Philip's 
expedition against Thermus, which, I think, will satisfactorily 
explain the meaning of Polybius, and reconcile his statement with 
the topography of the place. 


all its illusions. After an hour's anxious and toil- 
some wading and piloting, we had the satisfaction 
of finding ourselves on the firm ground. What, 
however, was now to be done ? To bivouac sub 
Jove frigido, we were in a worse condition than 
before the passage ; and great was our joy when, 
after half an hour's march up the bank of the 
river, we perceived a light, which we soon made 
out to be a fire, surrounded by the ferrymen, who, 
with their horses, instead of boats, ply at the ford. 
When they heard our story, they crossed them- 
selves ; but did not believe us, till they had felt 
our horses and our clothes. They conducted us 
to Lepenou, once a rich and happy township, of 
2000 souls, where we found our tent pitched 
beside the still-flowing, clear fountain — the only 
animated being in the midst of the deserted vil- 
lage. We perceived, on a rising ground near the 
ford, the outlines of the remains of Stratus, which, 
by * pale moonlight," gave us an exaggerated im- 
pression of their magnificence and extent. 

The people of the country may, in time, and & 
force cle voyageurs, become good Cicerones ; but, 
at present, they are of but little assistance to the 
traveller. Many of the inhabitants, indeed, are 
recent settlers ; and their ignorance, even of names 
and places, frequently misled us. A compass and 
Lapie's map (which has but too often followed 
Pouqueville) were our only guides ; but the dis- 


agreement of these led us into the recommendable 
practice of ascending the hills to take a bird's eye 
view. Difficulties and adventures have, conse- 
quently, been our inseparable companions, as we 
wandered along a country where the roads are 
effaced, houses and villages deserted, and the sight 
of man a rare occurrence ; but these circumstances 
forced upon us a more particular knowledge of 
the localities than would have been obtained by 
greater facilities of travelling and longer residence; 
and gave a romantic interest to the excursion, 
which is wholly incompatible with straight cut and 
ditched roads, rectangular fields, sign-posts, toll- 
bars, and other evidences of civilisation. 

Next morning, by daylight, we were amidst 
the ruins of Stratus. Strabo places it at ten 
stadia from the Achelous, which he says was navi- 
gable up to this point. At present, one branch of 
that river runs under its walls. Their circum- 
ference is from three to four thousand paces ; the 
blocks being of sandstone, have not the freshness 
and sharpness of angle that the hardness of con- 
glomerate and limestone have given to the other 
ruins. The remains of the solid wall have out- 
lived all it was destined to preserve. A gate near 
the water still leads into the vacant enclosure : at 
this spot the wall retains nearly its original height 
of twenty feet. On an elevated point, looking to 
the west, are heaps of sections of unfluted columns 


(old Doric), triglyphs, and capitals of beautifully 
-white limestone, obtained either from Vrachori or 
Machala. On the highest ground northwards, 
there are remains of a more ancient cyclopic 
citadel. The other ruins formed an undistinguish- 
able mass, matted over by an impervious growth 
of thistles. Rock-bees had established themselves 
amidst the crumbled layers of stone ; and large 
brown and reddish serpents lay basking along the 
walls, and, disturbed by our researches, came 
leaping and thumping on the stones below. From 
a mossy rock, under the shade of a fig-tree, fell, or 
rather dropped into an ancient sarcophagus, the 
tiny stream of an icy fountain, and supplied irri- 
gation for a single field of Indian corn, the only 
cleared space within the enclosure. 

By inquiry from a peasant, and the examination 
of our map, and a still persevering faith in Pouque- 
ville, we satisfied ourselves that the present Aetos 
was the ancient Metropolis, and made up our 
minds to be at Metropolis that night. Early in 
the morning, accordingly, the tent was sent on, 
with orders to be pitched at Aetos, while we 
started some hours after directing our inquiries for 
the Ruins. But this was the last time we staked 
our bed and supper on the identity of an ancient 
and modern city ! The morning had been fati- 
guingly spent in taking the plan of Stratus ; and we 
were quite exhausted by the excessive heat, and 
bv an hour's race after our horses, which, while we 


were busied with the ancient architecture, made 
an excursion in pursuit of. recent botanical speci- 
mens into the field of Indian corn ; so that the 
sun was already, as the Albanians would say, "two 
fathoms above the Eastern horizon," when we set 
forward in search of Metropolis. After crossing 
the plain to the westward for nearly two hours, 
we wandered along the base of the mountains 
from the little to the great Ozeros (lakes), without 
meeting a living creature, or being able to descry 
any path. At length, in exhaustion and despair, 
we unsaddled and picketed our horses, and laid 
ourselves down under a tree. The day passed, 
and evening came ; but no one appeared, so we 
mounted again. We had to cross the mountains, 
but to engage in them unless by a path, and with 
a point in view, was perfectly hopeless ; and the 
more we studied the map, the more bewildered we 
were. In this perplexity, we had the good luck 
to meet with a flock of horses, and a herd of 
swine; the advantage of this coincidence and 
rencontre may not at first be very intelligible. 
The pigs were accompanied by a biped, whose 
explanations might not have served us much, but 
who, on the exhibition of a hundred para piece, 
secured one of the wandering stud, and conducted 
us to the path that leads up, through a ravine in 
these abrupt and difficult hills, to Machala. 

We passed the monastery of Licovitza, beau- 
tifully situated high on our left; and the twilight 


shewed us an amphitheatre of hills opening to the 
south, with their shelving sides studded with vil- 
lages, and with a degree of cultivation which sur- 
prised us after the deserted appearance of the rich 
plain that we had left below. 

The ruins of Metropolis are now termed Porta. 
Though we did not reach them before it was quite 
dark, we descried their position, crowning and 
encircling a small but steep and rugged hill, where 
now stands the monastery of St. George, sur- 
rounded by a score of little huts like bee-hives, 
belonging to fugitives who had ventured back into 
Acarnania. The ruins of Metropolis have an air 
of antiquity from their being polygonal, from the 
absence, or at all events the fewness, of towers, 
and from the destruction of the walls. 

This if Porta ; we doubted not that it had been 
Metropolis, but it certainly was not Aetos; and 
therefore no tent was to be seen ; so we had to 
pass a not very comfortable night within the court 
of the almost deserted monastery ; the solitary 
Calogeros sparing us a very little very black bread, 
and a rug to cover us from the cold. But we 
were soon glad to rid ourselves of the treacherous 

Next morning we were up betimes from our 
bare cold dewy sod ; indeed, we had paced the 
court during the greater portion of the night, and, 
descending from the inhospitable rock, passed for 
three miles through the little plain of Aetos, en- 


circled with lofty hills, and filled with thorns and 
oak. Under a perpendicular rock, crowned by a 
Venetian castle at its opposite extremity, we were 
delighted to get a glimpse of our tent among the 
dark underwood. The smoke rising close by, like 
a tall, straight poplar, bushy at the top, was 
indeed a welcome sight; and as the little watch- 
dog came running towards us, and we saw our 
accustomed beasts of burden hopping in their 
shackles among the trees, the strange wilderness 
appeared familiar. The whole of this Jay our 
tent was allowed to occupy its position ; nor 
for the rest which Nature demanded, could we 
have desired a more delightful spot. On the 
opposite hill, there was a hamlet from which 
smoke arose, and which, therefore, was inhabited. 
As we had molested neither a flock of sheep, nor 
a herd of swine, in our vicinity, and appeared 
altogether very tame and peaceable creatures, the 
women of the hamlet, towards evening, made a 
trip of curiosity and traffic ; they brought their 
pitchers for water (we had pitched by the well), 
and eggs and yaoort for sale. We were soon on 
the best terms with our fair visitants. An old dame, 
jocose and spirituelle, was the chaperone of the 
party ; and wherever she moved, the young ones 
all ran and clustered behind her, so that they 
always presented to us the apex of a Mace- 
donian phalanx, the leader cased in the armour 
of sixty winters, the rank and file from the rear 


wielding * eyes for their lances." We gratified the 
old lady with a cup of coffee ; but our liberality 
could go no further, — they were too many for our 
cups or our coffee, and we had no wish to fling the 
apple of discord among them by partial preference. 
Afterwards, we had a visit from the men, who 
chatted about ancient Greece, Turkey, Europe, 
and, of course, about the Protocol; and we amused 
ourselves in thinking how the hinds of any other 
country would have kept up a conversation on such 

From Aetos we ascended, for one hour, north, 
to Zeuki, once a considerable village. Another 
hour brought us to a gorge, through which a tor- 
rent, descending by Zeuki, forces its way into the 
plain of Mitika. On the height of the gorge, above 
the road, stands, almost entire, a small and beauti- 
ful Hellenic tower, fifteen feet square, and twenty 
high ; the wall only a foot and a half thick, and 
the loopholes, on the outside, three feet by five 

As we descended, w r e perceived ruins upon one' 
of the hills to the left, in the chain through which 
we were passing. We were sorry to leave them 
unvisited, and yet their numbers increased so ra- 
pidly upon us, and they were often of such difficult 
access, that the task of examining each was beyond 
our strength. We, at present, determined on di- 
viding our labours. My companion scaled the 
hill, and I directed my course through the plain of 


Mitika, to the ruins of the ancient Alyzea, at its 
northern extremity. 

The ruin on the hill is Cyclopean, without 
towers ; has only two gates, formed by a transverse 
slab resting on two uprights; there is a cistern 
quarried in the rock. There are two extremely 
rude bas reliefs, cut in the limestone rock, and 
much obliterated. One exhibits two figures, seated, 
with a snake between them ; the other represents 
a warrior, naked, holding a spear, and a woman, 
draped, standing beside him. 

What a strange state of society do these re- 
mains indicate ! Populations pressing on each 
other by their density, shrinking from each other 
by their fears, expending their labours in the con- 
struction of defences, and their time in toiling up 
the mountains and precipices, where their places 
of strength were situated. The projectiles of mo- 
dern warfare would have either put an end to the 
causes of mistrust, or, perhaps, they would have 
annihilated the sources of this plethoric population. 
Rival towns could then almost insult each other 
from wall to wall ; and some powerful states of an- 
tiquity could now exchange shot and shell from 
capital to capital.* 

We have been so much in the habit of con- 
sidering the effects of gunpowder, as used by one 
state against another, that we have neglected to 

* Olynthus and Potidea, for example. 


consider the effect of this invention on the states 
themselves. I believe that it may be shewn to 
have materially influenced, throughout Europe, 
the character of society, of institutions, and of 
government. By artillery, the advantage and re- 
sistance of localities have been lost, the most war- 
like tribes have had their spirit broken ; and, 
amidst the strongest positions, the once sturdy 
mountaineer is pursued, if unarmed, by his armed 
oppressors ; or, if possessed of these means of de- 
struction, is tempted to become a robber and an 
oppressor in his turn. 

In the "West, gunpowder, with its concomitant 
standing armies, has succeeded in extending a 
tranquil domination, which disguises the military 
character of the sources of European power. The 
political institutes of the West, more or less 
oppressive in their uniform and regulated ope- 
ration, provoke not local resistance, but awaken 
general discontent. Local resistance becomes in- 
effective, because of the increased military means 
of the executive ; local resistance is superseded by 
the moral character of the resistance which is called 
forth by the exceptional principles which have 
found their way into the administrative practice 
and science, so called, of Europe ; which degrades, 
amongst the people, respect for their own per- 
ceptions, by substituting laws for justice, and a 
Government's regulations, for duty and for right. 

In Turkey, the feelings and habits of the people 


not having been levelled by a military power of 
this description, the abstract principles of the ad- 
ministration have retained, in a great degree, their 
primitive simplicity ; the increased efficiency, there- 
fore, given by gunpowder to the proportionably 
small number of men who carry arms by the right 
of authority or revenge, serves to increase the acci- 
dents of wrong, but not to establish uniform but 
legal injustice. The difference is rendered im- 
mense between the soldier and the bandit, now 
wearing a musket, and the peasant who no'longer 
can match his sithe or his flail with the spear or 
sabre, or escape, by a single stride, beyond the 
reach of such weapons. But the soldier in Turkey 
has been, as yet, only the retainer of the Pasha. 
When he becomes the servant of the Government, 
happy indeed will be this country, if that Govern- 
ment retains the moderation, the simplicity, and 
the character, of supreme and impartial judge, now 
imposed on its military weakness as the only prop 
of its authority, or support of its existence. Still 
the cultivator of the ground, superior in the re- 
lative scale of civil society to the cultivator of the 
soil in Europe, has sunk below that consideration 
which he formerly enjoyed, and must sink infi- 
nitely lower when discipline has been added to 
gunpowder, and a disciplined insurrection* imposes 

* Has not the insurrection of Mehemet Ali — does not the 
state of the peasant in Egypt and Syria — forcibly illustrate this 
truth ? 


conditions on the Porte, or a standing army levels 
all differences before its equal weight and constant 

The plain of Mitika is a triangular level. The 
shore is the base ; two chains of lofty and abrupt 
mountains form the sides, and stretch beyond it 
into headlands. The island of Calamo rises from 
the sea, in front of the plain, at the distance of one 
or two miles. The mountains are limestone : some 
conglomerate crops out at their base, inclining 
towards them. The plain is clay, and is marshy 
towards the shore, from want of cultivation. The 
Vernacus has forced a magnificent passage through 
the limestone, near the angle of the plain ; and 
there, restrained by an embankment at the gorge, 
accumulates its waters for the irrigation of the 
plain. I speak of it as it was, not as it is. This 
embankment is the vestige of antiquity which 
pleased me most in Acarnania. Here Hellenic 
construction, and Cyclopic labours, have been de- 
voted to a useful work, and remain, at the present 
hour, an instructive lesson. The discovery of this 
ruin gave me a peculiar interest in this city, and 
every thing connected with it. I fancied that its 
protecting barrier of rocks disconnected it from 
the events of Acarnania, shielded it from the deso- 
lating neighbourhood of the Etolians ; that its little 
lake gave exuberant fertility to the soil ; that its 
sheltered harbour brought commerce to its shores ; 
and that here the peaceable, intellectual, and ima- 


ginative portions of the spirit of Greece enjoyed, in 
not inglorious peace, and not unmanly refinement, 
the richness of this lovely spot, and the security of 
this strong position. 

Alyzea possessed, among many other inspira- 
tions of " Sculpture's Attic muse," the " Labours of 
Hercules," from the chisel of Lysippus. I heard, 
from the peasants, of a great many inscriptions 
among their huts, but could discover only two. 
The walls are in the best Hellenic style ; and, pro- 
bably, of all these cities, Alyzea would best repay 
excavation and research. 

The excitement which the arrival of Europeans 
every where produced, was here called forth in a 
most striking manner. They thronged round me, 
anxiously inquiring where the limits really were to 
be ; and, when I told them that they were without, 
they stood like men who had listened to a sentence 
of death. A fine, intelligent boy, certainly not 
more than ten years of age, and who, for an hour, 
had been leading me about the ruins, exclaimed, 
" We never will allow the Turks * to come here 
again !" " Will you prevent them, my little man ?" 
said I. With a look and attitude full of indig- 

* It may be worth while to remark, that the word Turk is 
used in Greece much as it is in Europe. These populations had 
never but once seen a Turkish army — they had never fought 
against Turks. To the Turks they owed, as already stated, 
their original institutions, and continual protection against their 
historic enemies, the Albanians. 

ALYZEA. 113 

nation, he replied, " You may laugh, if you please, 
but the Turks will never take alive even a little 
child " Q>h 0oi kiuoovv Zpothuvov prpz paioov tocioi). " I 
would shoot my sister," pointing to a girl older 
than himself, " sooner than that she should again 
be made a slave." 

Half an hour before sunset we left Candile for 
Vonizza : we put spurs to our horses, and reached, 
with daylight, the gorge near Alyzea, through 
which the Vernacus passes. On the shoulder of 
the right precipice, which rises perpendicularly at 
least five hundred feet, stands a Venetian fortress, 
called Glossa. After passing the cliffs, the gorge 
winds to the left ; the mountains rise on either 
side. We were here suddenly stopped by a Hellenic 
wall, filling up the whole glen. We dismounted, 
and, after groping about for some time, discovered 
a passage to the right. This was the dyke to 
which I have before alluded, the superior layers 
receding so as to give it a pyramid-like inclination : 
eleven layers still appear. The night had closed 
in, but we had the advantage of a most brilliant 
moon, which threw a flood of light through the 
gorge we had passed. W'e stood in the deepest 
shade, to acknowledge the reUgio loci, and enjoy 
the fragrance and freshness of an eastern evening 
that succeeds a fatiguingly brilliant and sultry day. 
We threaded our way through groves of myrtle 
under the deep shade of the lovely and magnificent 
Chenar, that, filling the bed of the stream and the 

VOL. I. i 


bottom of the glen, threw their spreading branches 
like arches over our heads. An hour's distance 
from the first, we came to the second gorge ; there 
the want of fodder prevented us from passing the 
night. Half an hour brought us to a mill, before 
which, on a green sward, a circle of muleteers sat 
in the moonlight, smoking, singing, and playing the 

About midnight we established ourselves on an 
exposed brow, close to a clear fountain ; turned 
out our mules and horses to graze, and lighted a 
blazing fire, which added much to the picturesque 
character of our situation, but did not seem to 
please the wild boars and jackals, which kept up 
a continual snorting and screaming around us. 
After pipes and coffee, I prepared to taste not the 
least of the traveller's enjoyments, slung between 
two trees in a Mexican hammock, after one of the 
pleasantest days of a most delightful journey. 

Next morning we were en route at dawn, and, 
in two hours, crossed the highest part of the pass 
of the Acarnanian Olympus. An hour further on, 
we looked down on the fertile little plain of Livadia. 
As we passed by, some shepherd-soldiers, from a 
little grove on the right, brought out and offered 
us milk newly drawn, and fresh " mgithra" (curds) 
the Italian ricotta. We went to visit their wood- 
land habitation : huts, sheepfolds, roofs, and pali- 
sades, formed of green boughs and live shrubs bent 
into the forms of walls : it was quite a labyrinth of 


foliage — a hamlet of live verdure; their arms and 
rude implements were hung upon the trees ; the 
sun, which shone brightly on the opposite hills, and 
on half the plain below, had not reached them ; 
the grass was still wet with dew. We gladly 
accepted their hospitality, and made a hearty 
breakfast on their simple fare, while they were 
churning, cleaning their arms, milking their goats 
and sheep, and shearing around us. They were 
astonished at our inquiries, and could not credit 
the admiration we expressed at their encampment ; 
they even suspected that we were amusing our- 
selves at the expense of their simplicity : some of 
them, who knew a little of the world, began to 
expatiate to the rest, on the palaces, luxuries, and 
learning of England, and wondered how m'rfordi 
could find pleasure in observing their ignorance and 
poverty, " we, beasts that we are" — (rjpsTg Z&cc qkov 

On a little hill to the north, are the ruins of 
Pyrgi, or a farm establishment, built by Ali Pasha : 
it has remained for years untouched by the plough, 
and is now a rich meadow ; for the right of their 
respective adherents to pasture on which, Verna- 
chiotti and Zonga are at present at variance, and 
probably may soon be at war. 

We descended gradually from plateau to pla- 
teau. The country is partially wooded : the 
basins, although the rocks are limestone, filled 
with rich soil. The path descends several times 



through chasms, burst open by the torrent, which 
reproduced, in miniature, the grander scenes of last 
night. These chasms were overhung with varieties 
of oak, — the quercus, smooth-leaved, prickly-leaved, 
ilex, and with ash, elm, and other forest trees. 
Moss, which is uncommon in this climate, hung pro- 
fusely from the damp rocks and from the trunks and 
branches of the trees, over which wandered innumer- 
able creepers, chiefly the clematis, which flings its 
slender stems from the very summits of the trees 
to the banks of the stream below the rock,' where 
they coiled as loose rigging hanging from a mast. 

About an hour from Livadia, we came succes- 
sively in sight of the serrated shores and bays of 
the Ambracian Gulf, the Leucadian Promontory, 
and the ' ' Azrrj 'Ea-s/^oib. Before us rose the land 
of Pyrrhus, Scanderbeg, and Ali Pasha ; and, to the 
right, the mountain altars of ancient mythology, 
the ridges of the Pindus, " sublimed with snow." 
An hour more brought us to Paradisi, when, turn- 
ing to the left, we saw a narrow plain stretching 
to the Gulf, on the shore of which rose a small 
round knoll, crowned with the Venetian towers and 
fortifications of Vonizza. 

It was near mid-day when we reached the base 
of the hills : the heat was tempered by ample 
shade, and by the sea-breeze that had just set in. 
The country seemed to smile around us in its 
reckless richness. We found ourselves on a bright 
green sward, half encircled by a bend of the 


rocky stream, and shadowed by a deep border of 
that constant ornament of running waters, the 
friendly Chenar. The foreground presented a 
masterpiece of nature's art, which a Salvator Rosa 
or a Byron, alone, was worthy to look on. A 
troop of Palicars, though there was no village nor 
even house in the vicinity, had chosen this situation 
for their encampment, and fixed their habitations 
among the trees. They were allured only by the 
amenity of the place, the abundance of water and 
shade, and their innate taste. Each Palicar had 
woven for himself a pallet of green boughs covered 
with fern, which, according to his fancy, he sup- 
ported by stakes driven into the bed of the stream 
or its banks, or nestled in the forks of the massive 
trunks and branches of the trees, or, to catch the 
cool current of air, suspended from the boughs 
crossing each other from the opposite sides of the 
stream. Their goats, for every soldier has one or 
more, were resting under these pallets, or standing 
in the water. Some of the Palicars were bathing, 
some, in their rich picturesque and warlike cos- 
tumes, seated crosslegged, smoking ; some grouped 
round fires preparing their food, while the smoke 
rising through the thick foliage, passing over the 
trunks, or curling round the light-green smooth 
branches, caught and reflected the rays that had 
penetrated through the canopy of verdure, and 
produced a thousand beautiful effects. The sharp 
tingling of a single tambouriki, softened by the 


murmur of the tumbling torrent, formed a happy 
accompaniment to the dream, — for such it seemed. 

The Platanus, the Chenar of Persian poet.s, is a 
tree so elegant in its form, so docile in its growth, 
that it gives beauty to all that surrounds it ; shoot- 
ing up like the poplar when confined ; spreading, 
when at liberty, like the oak ; and drooping like the 
weeping willow over streams — it adapts itself to 
every position of soil, and assimilates itself to every 
style of landscape. The foliage, by the broadness of 
the leaves and their springing at the extremity of 
the branches, is bold and massive, without being 
dense or heavy. Vast and airy vaults are formed 
within, excluding the strong light and the sun's 
rays ; and through these verdant domes, the round, 
long, naked boughs, of a light-green hue and vel- 
vety texture, meander like enormous snakes. 

We lingered in this valley, which deserves its 
name, if aught on earth can deserve such a name, 
(Paradisi), to allow time for the pitching of our 
tent at Vonizza, and for preparing a dinner to 
compensate us for our long privations : but, alas ! 
on our arrival we found ourselves in reality restored 
to terrestrial cares, for neither tent nor dinner were 
there, — our servants had quarrelled by the way, 
and were literally at daggers-drawing. 






Step by step, as we proceeded northward, the 
alarm of commotion and anarchy vanished before 
us. Like fame and the rainbow, that fly the pur- 
suer and pursue the flier, alarms now flourished 
in our rear ; and we heard of nothing but com- 
motions in the Morea. We were arrived at 
the place which had the reputation in the Morea 
of being the very focus of disaffection and dis- 
orders ; but here, as elsewhere, we found the most 
perfect tranquillity : nor had we to take the slight- 
est precaution for the preservation of ourselves or 
of our most trifling effects ; nor, during our whole 
peregrinations in Acarnania, had ever the idea of 
precaution presented itself to us. 

General Pisa was Military Commandant of West- 
ern Greece ; and we were soon put in possession of 
all the details of its state and organisation. Some 
months before serious disturbances had taken 
place amongst the soldiery ; but these were ex- 


cited, I will not say by the incapacity, but by the 
very sight, of Augustin Capodistrias. The Greek 
Armatoles might submit to the authority of a 
European officer, commanding respect by his 
abilities, and sharing with them their dangers 
and fatigues : the arrogant bearing of an upstart 
Frank, and, above all, a Corfiote, no soldier, and, 
withal, a vain and silly man, could only excite 
amazement, to be followed by contempt. 

Since the appointment of General Pisa, the 
most perfect tranquillity has prevailed, from no 
other reason, I believe, than because he is not 
Augustin Capodistrias ; nor, by intermeddling, has 
he yet informed them, that he is General Pisa. 

Vonizza is the head-quarters for the troops 
posted on the Makronoros, and in different points 
of the Gulf, with which the communication is 
maintained by Mysticos. The regular alternation 
of land- and sea-breezes, renders this inland navi- 
gation most sure and expeditious. When we pro- 
posed going to visit Caravanserai by land, that 
we might inspect the southern shores, we were 
recommended to go by water, because the passage 
was usually made by water ; the route by land 
being circuitous and bad, and the breezes favour- 
able and certain, — I retain the remark, because it 
may prove illustrative of the passages of Philip 
and the Lacedaemonians from Leucas to Limnaea, 
in the last of which the omission, as I imagine, 
of the word " by sea," has given rise to discussions 


among learned commentators in their closets, 
which the inspection of the localities would easily 
set at rest. 

We were much gratified, not only by the good 
feeling that seemed to exist among the soldiery, 
but also by their strict and cheerful subordination, 
which the example of the Peloponnesians had 
hardly led us to expect. Since the organisation 
had been effected, one single case requiring penal 
animadversion had occurred. A subaltern officer, 
not in activity (wzopuyjog), had beaten, in a quarrel, 
an old man at Vonizza. He was tried by a court 
of his peers, and sentenced to lose three months 
of his half-pay, and be confined for six months 
in the Castle of Lepanto. This sentence was the 
spontaneous suggestion of the officers themselves, 
as was also the mode of putting it in execution ; 
namely, delivering the order for his confinement 
to the convicted officer himself, that he might 
present it to the Governor of Lepanto, offering 
himself, at the same time, for imprisonment. 
This is an exemplification of the point of honour,* 
which is, of course, quite unknown in the East. 
The officers spoke with delight of their first 
judicial proceedings. 

* It is strange enough that the word " honour," which we 
have been told by travellers has no synonyme in Turkish, is 
itself a Turkish word, " Huner" which is, in its strict sense, order. 
In Greek, the word for " honour," rip.*, means, also, price. 


Though Vonizza was the head-quarters, there 
was no body of troops in it, and only one of the 
Capitani, Zongas, the chief of the Vlachi, — a popu- 
lation which has contributed to the revolution, at 
various times, as many as ten thousand men : 
Zongas has mustered as many as two thousand 
at once. The Vlachi, though not Armatoles, more 
readily become soldiers than the Greek Rayah. 
Their nomade habits, and the little contact they 
have with the Turks, render them less submissive, 
and familiarise them with danger and the use of 
arms ; while their property in flocks and cattle, 
which they can so easily remove, and in butter, 
cheese, and capotes, which are disposed of every 
where with equal facility, leaves their roaming 
habits unconfined, while it deprives them of the 
necessity or inclination to engage in brigandage. 
I suppose I need not observe that the Vlachi are 
originally from Wallachia ; and that, to the amount 
of about half a million of souls, they are wandering 
shepherds all over European Turkey, changing 
their abode with the seasons, possessing a large 
proportion of the sheep of the country, and often 
having additional flocks confided to their care by 
the stationary populations.* 

* The following description of the Vlachi in the thirteenth 
century, is a curious illustration of the permanency of Eastern 
habits and interests : — 

" The Vlachi are a wandering race, who have acquired con- 
siderable wealth by their flocks and herds, whose pastoral life 


Their celebrated chief, Cach Antoni, who was 
one of the Klephti heroes of Ali Pasha's reign, had 
been a wealthy proprietor of sheep and .goats, of 
horses and mules. A party of Albanians once 
alighted at his encampment : sheep were killed, 
and skins of wine untied. When they had feasted 
themselves, they proceeded to the most shameful 
outrages ; and fell victims, during their sleep, to 
the violated chastity of the Vlachi establishment. 

Cach Antoni, exasperated by the dishonour of 
his family, and now irrevocably excluded from all 
hope of pardon, set fire, on the spot, to his tents 
and weightier movables, mingled the blood of two 
thousand slaughtered sheep with that of the Al- 
banians, and, as they emphatically express it, 
" took to the mountain" (engt to fiovvo). A man 
of a daring, not to say of a lofty mind, and of an 
iron frame, he now became the hero of the Vlachi 
name, recruiting his band from these hardy 
mountaineers, no where fixed, but always to be 
found where the wolves have dens and the eagles 
nests. For many years he defied the power of 
Ali Pasha, but was caught, at length, suffering 
from the ague, and concealed in a cave ; whither 
one of his sons, who had carried him far, had been 

has inured them to fatigue, and endowed them with great strength 
and hardness of body ; while a habitual practice of the chase has 
taught them the first rudiments of war, and frequent skirmishes 
with the imperial troops have trained them to a considerable skill 
in the use of arms." — Pachymeer, Hist. Andr. lib. i. cap. 27. 


forced to deposit him. In this state he was 
brought to Janina ; and suffered a cruel and lin- 
gering death by the successive fracture of every 
bone in his body, while he uttered neither groan 
nor complaint ; and reproached one of his sons 
for dishonouring his house, by evincing weakness 
while undergoing the same torture. 

Zongas was his Proto-palicari, and, shortly 
after his death, submitted to Ali Pasha. He in- 
herited his former patron's authority among the 
Vlachi, who thus appeared, for the first time, as 
Armatoles. Though distinct from the Greeks in 
language and in race, they were identified with 
them in every other respect ; and thence the same 
ready transition, on the breaking up of the domi- 
nion of Ali Pasha, from Klepht to Armatole, and 
from Armatole to Patriot. 

After spending three days at Vonizza, we pro- 
ceeded to make the tour of the Gulf. General 
Pisa placed at our disposal one of the government 
mysticos ; and when the sea-breeze had set in, we 
left Vonizza, and skimmed along the Gulf right 
before the wind, '* wing and wing." Our first 
object was Caravanserai, where we had nearly 
made up our minds to find the Amphilochian 
Argos ; and were certainly exceedingly disap- 
pointed at the uninteresting appearance of the 
narrow cove, the barrenness of the limestone hills, 
and the insignificance of the ruins themselves. 
They consist of a simple Hellenic wall, two thou- 

pouqueville's blunders. 125 

sand five hundred paces in circumference. The 
walls extend from the shore round the summit of 
a little rocky hill : to the north is the narrow cove 
of the Gulf ; to the south, the long river-like lake 
called Ambracia ; and to the east and west rise 
abruptly two barren mountains, which intercept 
the view, and scarcely afford, in the vicinity of 
the ruins, a spot of level ground large enough for 
a garden. 

This place has been pitched upon for the locality 
of the Argos Amphilochicum by D'Anville, Barbie 
de Bocage, Arrowsmith, &c. D'Anville, not content 
with finding an Argos, has made an Inachus for 
his Argos, by drawing a meandering line from the 
Achelous entering the Gulf at this spot. The 
description I have given of the locality will shew 
that there never could have existed any stream at 
Caravanserai. Pouqueville, with his usual exube- 
rance of blunders, makes it out to be Olpae. He 
observes, that D'Anville calls this place Argos 
Amphilochicum, and that the peasants call it Am- 
brachia, " which is no less an error on the part of 
the geographer than on that of the peasant ; but," 
continues the facetious consul, "pour mot qui savois 
that Ambrachia is the Acropolis of Rogous, and 
Argos is the submerged town of Philo- Castro 
(Phido-Castro — snake-castle), I discovered in Am- 
brachia the ancient Olpse." Above all, is he fixed 
in this conviction by the "precise" distance from 
Argos — his Philo-Castro. Shortly before this, he 

126 pouqueville's blunders. 

had " discovered" in Combote, some ten or twelve 
miles to the north, Crenae, which the Lacedaemo- 
nians, coming from the south, had to pass during 
the night, to arrive at Olpae in the morning; and 
as to his " precise" distance, instead of the twenty- 
five stadia between Argos and Olpae, there are at 
least two hundred and fifty between Phido-Castro 
and Caravanserai. The quotations he gives in 
confirmation are themselves perfectly conclusive 
against his suppositions, besides being, as usual, 
misquoted. The perfect confidence, no less than 
the errors, of Pouqueville, would, at times, make 
one think that his book was intended for a hoax. 
Throughout Acarnania his discoveries have not 
extended much beyond the one we have just seen 
of Olpae in Caravanserai, and of Thermus, where it 
is likely no mortal will ever " discover " it again ; 
but he tells us, " j'ai souleve le voile qui couveroit 
des problemes geographiques jusqu'a present inso- 
lubles, j'ai revivifie l'Acarnarnie entiere."! Again, 
says he, " Je donnai, par une sorte d'inspiration, 
des noms a tous les lieux qui m'environnoient!" 
What an invaluable accompaniment he would have 
been for Ross or Parry's northern expeditions ! * 

* Pouqueville places Lymnaea at Loutraki, and, to support 
this position, says that Cnemus " l'abandonna au pillage en se 
detournant un pen du che?nin qu'il tenoit pour penetrer dans 
l'Agraide ; en effet, ce general parti de Leucade avait du 
prendre sa route au niidi du Lac Boulgari pour se porter vers le 
defile de Catouni, et ne put passer a Lymnee qu'en derivant a 

pouqueville's blunders. 127 

We returned to sup and sleep on board our 
mystico, and sailed about midnight with the soft 
land-breeze that dies away again in the morning. 
A little before sunrise, we were awakened by our 

gauche." It belongs but to Pouqueville to combine, in so short 
a sentence, so many errors, misconstructions, and such incon- 
ceivable assurance. In a note he reports some of the words of 
Thucydides, adding again, within parentheses ("en se detour- 
nant un peu de sa route.")* 

Thucydides says that Cnemus left Leucadia in great haste, 
leaving some of his troops behind, to reach Stratus, thinking, if 
he could surprise it, the rest of Acaruania would submit. He, 
therefore, passed through Argis (not " l'Agraide" of Pouque- 
ville), and, arriving by sea, as Philip did afterwards, and as 
seems to have been, as it still is, the common practice, pillaged 
Lymnaea ; but there is not a single word about quitting his road 
for that purpose. The words are : 

Kxt ot* tj)? Agyw«c$ iflmj Aiuteuxt x-tttcni irojjiw cx«g0i|rar. 
AtyixyoZrrxi rt iici ILr^ttm. — x. t. A. 

" Stephanus, of Byzantium," says Pouqueville, " is wrong 
in making Lymnaea a burgh of Argolis" (as Thucydides, in this 
very passage, does), because he had not the benefit of Mr. 
Pouqueville's discovery of Argos, in Phido-Castro, and, conse- 
quently, " a pris le change relativement a Argos Amphilochi- 
cum." Palmerius quotes this very passage of Stephanus, in 
rejecting a proposed emendation of this passage of Thucydides 
by some commentator. And Gronovius, in his notes to Stepha- 
nus, says that, in carefully examining the passage of Thucy- 
dides, he must adhere to the correct judgment of that learned 

* And, besides, this intercalation supplies Thucydides with 
a reason for the pillage — " pour encourager les soldats." 


keel grazing the beach of the Makronoros. The 
commander Verri was standing on the beach to 
receive us. The style, the outline of the figure, 
the arms, the tail, suggested the comparison with 
the old Scottish chieftain ; "but the climate, the 
refinement of manner, the classical language, and I 
must, in spite of early associations, say elegance of 
costume, were in favour of the Greek. The strug- 
gles of the Scotch Highlanders and of the Greek 
mountaineers, probably, had very many points of 
resemblance, but their principles and results have 
been very dissimilar. The Scotch bravely shed 
their blood for the sinking cause of bigotry ; the 
Greeks for that of rising liberty ; and, fortunately, 
the same principle triumphed in the failure of the 
former and the success of the latter. 

Thus did we lucubrate then and there ; and these 
dreams of Greek regeneration afforded us many an 
hour of real enjoyment. The enthusiasm of mutual 
sympathies opened to us many a heart, now closed 
in bitterness against every thing that comes from 
incapable Europe. 

Verri, the Tagmatarch, led us to a chamber, 
fresh wove of the boughs of oak, arbutus, and 
myrtle, supported on posts, driven into the sand 
within the sea-mark. It was open towards the 
sea ; a rugged trunk of a tree was laid in imitation 
of a natural ladder to the entrance from the beach. 
I was quite enchanted with the novel and beautiful 
idea. A similar apartment had been prepared for 


us wherever we halted during our stay in the 
Makronoros, varying in style and form, but always 
fresh ; and, seeing the trouble they had taken to 
do us honour, we could not but be strongly pre- 
possessed in favour no less of the taste, than of the 
sedulous hospitality, of our entertainers. Just such 
another little apartment must have been the earliest 
Temple of Delphi, woven of green laurel boughs. 

It is, of course, superfluous to say that the 
whole of the morning was spent in abusing the 
Protocol. The point of chief importance here 
was the practical means of frustrating it. " Here 
we are," said they, " not because the Europeans 
have put us here, but because the Turks have 
been unable to drive us out. If the Alliance 
orders the Greek troops to retire from Acarnania, 
the Greek troops will retire ; that is to say, our 
commissions in the Greek service will be sent 
back, but we will remain in Makronoros. The 
Protocol will neither make the Turks' swords 
sharper, nor their powder stronger. The Alliance 
will not be able to attack us, for we will renounce 
the connexion with Greece ; and if shots are again 
fired across the frontier, independent Acarnania 
will have a hundredfold more to gain than to lose, 
and may render to the North the service she has 
already rendered to the South ; and the Protocol, 
intended to give peace instead of war, will bring 
war, where peace at present exists. Our state is 
now very different from what it was at our former 

VOL. i. k 


rising. From our mountains all around, we could 
then only look upon our enemies : now half the 
horizon is filled with victorious co-religionists. 
Then, we struggled for existence : now, we fight 
for independence. Then, our wives and children 
grasped our fustanels, and implored us to hold 
our hands : now, our women and children encou- 
rage us to resistance, and would revile us for sub- 

This sad Protocol has alienated no less the 
respect than the confidence and affection 'of these 
people. Little could we then have anticipated the 
lengthful series of these dire diplomatic instru- 
ments, whose snakelike and tortuous course has 
wound itself in many and deadly folds around the 
destinies of Greece. No ! never can revive again 
those moments of hope and exultation ; no revo- 
lution can bring Greece back again to that state in 
which she was, at the period here described. Her 
futurity has been shipwrecked after the danger 
was passed ; and the wreck will remain a great and 
lamentable example of the crimes that benevolence 
can commit, when destitute of knowledge. 

At noon the roasted sheep made its appear- 
ance, imbedded in a wicker tray of myrtle ; and we 
were afterwards lulled to our siesta by the rising 
ripple brought in by the sea breeze, which, as it 
freshened, dashed the swelling waves against the 
stakes, and rocked us in our cradle of verdure. 
When we awoke we found horses ready capari- 


soned, and adorned with boars' tusks, to carry us 
to the position above. Our intention was to sail 
from Makronoros that night with the land breeze ; 
but we found that, before our arrival, where and 
when we should eat and sleep for three successive 
days had been decided on, and preparation accord- 
ingly made. An officer from each of the other 
Tagmata came to meet us ; and, of course, all our 
plans were gladly sacrificed to the enjoyment of 
such distinguished and interesting hospitality. 

Accompanied by several officers, and a guard 
of Palicars, we proceeded to the Tagma of Veli, an 
old friend and companion in arms. The road first 
lay through low brushwood, myrtle, lauro-cerasus, 
bramble, tall heather, thorns, and palluria, a shrub 
with multitudes of long and slender branches, set 
with strong thorns, perfectly unapproachable itself, 
and binding up the underwood into an impervious 
mass; when a sheep gets entangled in it, unless 
found by the shepherd, it perishes. These thorns 
have been the principal strength of the Makronoros. 
The path was like an arched way cut through this 
underwood, and we rode along almost doubled on 
our horses. In some places it has been cleared by 
fire, in others it opens into forests of oak; and 
still, under a canopy of verdure, one seems passing 
from corridors to spacious halls. After a couple 
of hours' journeying on, without seeing any thing 
of the country through which we were passing, we 

k 2 


came at length to a space open to the heavens 
above. A band of the forest was before us, a 
green brow rose close behind it, and on its sum- 
mit were squatted Veli and his men ; their white 
fustanels were soon flying about, as they scam- 
pered down the hill ; and, after we entered the 
forest, we found them drawn up in two lines, wait- 
ing for us. 

We dismounted at the proper distance, sa- 
luted and embraced, and then walked with Veli 
through the ranks of his men, who gave us a 
hearty welcome as we passed. Our guard from 
below went on a-head; these followed two and 
two behind ; their fustanels were all snow white, 
their persons and clothes clean and tidy to minute- 
ness, their looks fresh and cheerful, their manner 
orderly and submissive ; and I said to myself, 
" Are these the same men — the ' horde' — that I 
saw eighteen months ago, filthy and discontented, 
in the camp before Lepanto ? " 

Rizo has truly said, and Mr. Gordon has given 
tenfold weight to the remark by repeating it, that 
a man who sees Greece in one year, will not recog- 
nise it in the next. Most forcibly was this observa- 
tion pressed upon me, by the state in which I 
found the soldiery of Makronoros. On leaving 
Greece for Turkey, little more than a year before, 
if I had been asked, what the greatest benefit was 
that could be conferred on Greece, I should have 


said, — a deluge, to sweep away the whole race of 
Liapis.* On my return I found, to my surprise, 
industrious and docile labourers and muleteers, 
who had previously been soldiers. I explained 
this by the supposition that the best disposed had 
resumed habits of industry, but was still far from 
supposing that any improvement had taken place 
in the mass, or from suspecting that, in judging of 
them formerly, I had not estimated correctly their 
capabilities. It was now, therefore, with quite as 
much surprise as gratification, that, by observing 
them under other circumstances, I formed a truer 
and a higher estimate of their qualifications and 
their dispositions. 

Arriving at Veli's bivouac, we found on a little 
knoll, shaded by an oak, and commanding a pro- 
spect of the Gulf and Plain of Arta, a large table, 
and an ample sofa on each side, formed of branches 
fixed in the ground, wove with boughs, thickly co- 
vered with oak-leaves ; quite of a different charac- 
ter, but quite as tasteful — more so it could not be 
— as the chamber over the sea in which we had 
been received in the morning. Whilst we were 
taking our coffee, the Palicars formed a large 
circle around, and shewed, by the conscious smile 
that followed our encomiums on their Arcadian 
taste, the part and the interest they had taken in 

* Liapi is one of the tribes of Middle Albania, celebrated 
for its rapaciousness and filth. Hence the word has become an 
epithet of contempt. 


the preparatives for our reception. They paid us 
a pretty compliment by the mouth of the Gram- 
maticos; and, after standing about ten minutes, 
their chief said, " The Hellenes may now retire." 
Formerly it would have been the " Palicars ;" but 
their hopes were now warmer, their aspirations 
higher, and they disclaimed even the names that 
were associated with their previous history. 

Our evening repast was positively sumptuous ; 
five large fires had been put in requisition for it. 
A community of shepherds could not have boasted 
of greater variety, or excellence of laitage ; and 
here, in the wilderness, we had whiter and sweeter 
bread than I ever tasted in Paris or London. 
Young zarcadia (wild deer) and little brindled 
boars picked up the crumbs around, and disputed 
them with the pups of Macedonian greyhounds. 
When the evening had set in, and the moon arose, 
the long Romaika was led out on the mountain's 

" Their leader sung, and bounded to his song, 
With choral voice and step, the martial throng." 

For two long hours did the leaders dip and twirl, 
while the long tail ebbed and flowed, like a follow- 
ing wave, to the mellifluous air — 

IlSj TO T§//3oW, TO 7T/7r6g< 

' 0« otxfioXoi KxXoy'i'pot. 

Next morning we were very anxious to get up 


a boar-hunt, but we abandoned the idea when we 
understood, that young Botzari had prepared for 
receiving us at noon ; and, an active messenger pro- 
mised that in the afternoon we should there find 
every thing prepared for a regular Chevy Chase. 
We were taken to see a tomb which had been dis- 
covered in making an oven ; it contained some 
bones, some pieces of a broadsword, and two Ro- 
man coins — it makes an excellent oven. There 
seemed to be many others in the neighbourhood. 

Accompanied, as before, by the " Hellenes," 
we ascended the highest point of the Derveni, 
towards the south, where it looks down on the 
plain of Vlicha, and where, if my calculations are 
correct, still remains to be discovered the site of 
the Amphilochian Argos. Here we found the re- 
mains of an Hellenic city, of considerable extent, 
and, apparently, of a superior style of architecture ; 
and, in the uncertainty of its locality, I might have 
supposed this the disputed Argos, had it not been 
for its remoteness from any thing like a stream, 
and the commanding position, which, had that 
city been possessed of, must certainly have been 
recorded. Standing on this point, Thucydides' 
description of the march of Eurylochus is perfectly 
graphic. Passing by Lymnsea (Caravanserai), he 
ascended the Thyamus (the Spartonoros), then 
descended into the plain of Argos (the plain of 
Vlicha), then passed between Argos and Crena?, 


where the troops of the enemy were stationed, 
probably on commanding positions, and were 
reached after passing from the plain below ; there- 
fore, they were on the hill on which I stood ; this 
very place, Crense. Olpse a ruin, on a command- 
ing situation, three or four miles to the north ; or, 
if this were Olpae, Argos would have been three 
miles lower down. In either case, the ruins of 
Argos are still to be discovered in the plain of 
Vlicha, or between it and Makronoros. Having 
ascertained it to be between those two points, we 
must not despair of finding it, because there is no 
river worthy of the name of Father Inachus, and 
because there is no ruin on the shore. Thucydides 
calls it hri Oukuaiu, but not fact QoLkdaarig. The term 
" maritime." might be applied to almost any city in 
the neighbourhood of the Gulf; and had he more 
strictly defined its position to have been on the 
sea, the difficulties, instead of being diminished, 
would have been increased. We do not dispute 
the locality of Stratus, because Livy calls it a city 
" super Ambracicum sinum." 

The stream which Pouqueville's map calls 
Crickeli, may very well answer for the Inachus. 
Strabo merely says that it flows to Argos towards 
the south ; * the Crickeli first flows to the south, 
and then to the west; the simple mention of the 

* Strabo, Book vii. 


stream when so much importance was given to 
water of every description, shews how insignificant 
it must have been.* 

We now turned northwards along the ridge, 
and in about an hour and a half, descending among 
rocks and through oaken forests, we caught a 
glimpse of the pretty little encampment of Bot- 
zari, in a small and sheltered flat, where rocks and 
woods would have hidden it from observation, 
except from above. A shot from our guards was 
answered by a bugle from below; here was no 
formal greeting, but the Suliotes came bounding 
up the rocks with their young chief foremost in 
the race. Here we found a perfect temple of 
green boughs; it was raised high on stakes, and 
had windows all round it ; the sides, roof, and 
floor, of green oak boughs ; the floor strewed with 
fern, and the windows wreathed with garlands of 
wild flowers ; the whole so fresh, that they seemed 
scarcely plucked an hour. 

Botzari was Upo-Tagmatarch, and had the 
command in his superior's absence ; he is a fine 

* Purus in occasus parvi sed gurgitis iEas 
Ionio fluit in raari, nee fortior undis 
Labitur avectse pater Isidis. — Lucan, lib. vi. v. 362. 
Inachus, or Ino, father of the Egyptian Isis. — See Pulmerii 
Grae. ant. dem. lib. ii. c. 7. 

However, the original Inachus might have been contented 
with a very slender streamlet for its representative. Again, 
Pausanias says, r«Tt v$«§ tVi ir»*v \%i%ilrttt t«s yns. 


manly youth, not above twenty, if so much, and 
the youngest brother of the Suliote hero : I can- 
not say that his countenance was distinguished; 
in manner he was shy and bashful, but I have 
been seldom so interested by any one on so short 
an acquaintance. Here, again, we were astonished 
at the excellence and variety of their dairy ; our 
young host observed that it was but natural, since 
f it was May, and the flocks feed only on flowers, 
and our milk is drawn by hands which have been 
hitherto accustomed only to the musket and the 

Afterwards, we had a delightful boar-hunt. Not 
that the game was rife. There were about three 
hundred men engaged in it. They ascended, by a 
circuitous path, to the upper part of a ravine, then 
beat it downwards, on both sides of the slope, with 
the stream and with the wind. The principal party 
of marksmen were placed at the opening of the dell ; 
and large Albanian greyhounds were turned into 
the cover, but did not succeed in disturbing many 
deer. We were in want of proper dogs, and were 
too near the encampment ; our sport was, there- 
fore, confined to a few ineffectual shots at a couple 
of wild goats, which broke away. During the 
battue, we had a splendid prospect of the plain 
and gulf. The land and water below displayed 
the most strangely variegated tints ; and the de- 
scending sun burnished the still vivaria (fish pre- 
serves). Amongst the lower mountains, to the 


north and east, lead-coloured thunder-clouds were 
thickly rolling ; heavy peals came echoing along 
the hills, while the plain, to the left, seemed undis- 
turbed by a breeze ; and the lofty cliffs of the 
Djumerca, which rose out of the very thickest of 
the storm, reddened by the evening sun, looked 
serenity and smiles. 

In the evening, we enjoyed the merriment of 
the men, and their indefatigable dancing, in the 
moonlight. I could not help repeatedly express- 
ing to their young chief the lively impression that 
the happiness of their condition made upon me. 
His answer expressed, in one single idea, the 
strong thirst of the Greek character, and more 
particularly of the young men, for information. 
" The boys," said he, " are happy, because they 
know no better ; but do you think I can be happy, 
while I see strangers, like you, knowing every 
thing about my country, while I know nothing of 

I was here much struck with the strict military 
subordination which, without accompanying disci- 
pline or instruction, had taken place of the pre- 
vious turbulence. It is generally supposed that 
the Greeks had a great objection to become regular 
troops, and that this objection was the most em- 
barrassing question under Capodistria's admini- 
stration. With all the means at his disposal, with 
French officers and French commissariat, the Pre- 
sident mustered eight hundred men, and these, for 


the most part, adventurers from Turkey and the 
Ionian Islands. Favier, by his own next to unas- 
sisted efforts, and on a portion of the eleemosynary 
contributions from Europe, managed to collect, at 
one time, three thousand regulars. The President 
expressed, indeed, earnestness to form troops — 
his actions implied no wish of the kind. To or- 
ganise the Greeks, regular pay alone was requisite, 
as the present state of Makronoros proves. The 
men were not clothed in uniform, but they were 
dressed very much alike, if not entirely so ; some 
with white jackets and blue embroidery, some 
with red ; and all of them with clean fustanels. 
They were divided, though undisciplined, into 
Lochi and Tagmata, with successive gradations of 
command, with titles from the Spartan bands. 
The utmost subordination and etiquette divided 
these ranks, a result of eastern habit and ideas ; 
but the authority of the Capitan had altogether 
vanished. They were precisely at that point 
where the uniformity of the action of a machine 
met, without having as yet impaired the value and 
intelligence of the individual. The greater portion 
of these troops are lads whose services commenced 
with their recollection, who have lived like goats, 
amidst rocks and caverns, and who have been 
spared much that was debasing in the hard expe- 
rience of their fathers. They are proud to call 
themselves the children of the revolution, and dis- 
tinguish themselves as such from the old men, 


whom they call Turks. The common epithets of 
Klephti, or Palicar, are now become terms of re- 
probation. Their only designation is Hellenes, 
which they apply to each other in familiar con- 

Next morning, we bade adieu to the Suliotes, 
and descended to Palaio-koulia, the second ridge. 
Here are the remains of a small Hellenic fortress, 
six hundred paces in circumference ; thence we 
descended to the little plain of Menidi, where we 
had disembarked. 

I have had occasion several times to allude to 
the strength of the position of the Makronoros ; 
I have mentioned Iskos arresting here, with forty 
men, a body of Turks, which, had they passed, 
would have extinguished at its dawn the revolu- 
tion in Acarnania, — perhaps, in the Morea. The 
recovery of Western Greece, and its present ad- 
dition to the New State, is owing to a bold move- 
ment of General Church, who, with five hundred 
men, surprised the strong posts of the Makron- 
oros : by this movement a convoy of provisions 
was arrested ; and the fortresses of Lepanto, Mis- 
solonghi, the castle of Roumelie, with four thou- 
sand prisoners, consequently fell into the hands 
of the Greeks.* 

* General Church was recalled by the President, in disgrace, 
after this splendid achievement, which secured to Greece that 
portion of territory, which was no sooner withdrawn by the 


Before visiting the spot, I could not under- 
stand how a pass of such evident importance 
should not have been more particularly indicated 
by Thucydides, in describing the double action in 
its vicinity between the Ambracians and the Acar- 
nanian league ; but an inspection of the localities 
reconciled the apparent discrepancy, for the po- 
sition is very much stronger now, than it was 

Makronoros is a sandstone hill, in three escarp- 
ments, appearing one above the other. The face 
is abrupt, but seldom precipitous ; the back dips 
considerably but equably ; they present their abut- 
ments to the gulf and the west ; and, conse- 
quently, the ridges and the valleys are at right 
angles to the frontier line : this, of course, is not 
a strong military frontier, and it has only become 
so now, because covered with an impervious mass 
of thorns, underwood, and forests. 

In the night we sailed ; and awoke in the 
morning at Caraconisi, an island connected with 
the fish preserves and shallows on the north of 
the gulf; it is occupied by the Greeks. We there 
got into a monoxylo, and punted away to Phido- 
Castro, so pompously announced by Pouqueville 
as his " revived " Argos Amphilochicum, and were, 

conference, than the President declared it necessary to the 
existence of Greece, and made it the principal subject of his 
Jeremiads to Prince Leopold. 


of course, disappointed. This ruin is in the middle 
of the vivaria ; is a small circuit of Hellenic walls, 
the base of which is submerged four or five feet : 
we heard of inscriptions and columns that had 
been blasted, and carried away for building, by the 
Turks. The bottom of the vivaria is covered 
with a thick succulent grass, on which they say 
the mullet feeds. The preserves were farmed this 
year, for 40,000 piastres, to Nicholas Zerva, the 
Suliote Tagmatarch at Vouizza. 

On our return to Caraconisi, we found a per- 
fectly English breakfast — coffee, eggs, toast and 
butter, &c, awaiting us at the quarters of Malamo, 
the Suliote Tagmatarch, who had been in the 
English service. We passed a most interesting 
day with him, though he was suffering from the 

As usual, we sailed with the land breeze at 
night ; and when we awoke in the morning, found 
ourselves between the points of Actium and Anac- 
torium, and opposite Prevesa. The mystico would 
not run up under the fort ; but we hailed a fishing- 
boat, and soon rejoiced in pressing, at length, 
the shore of Albania : our journey was now to 




In quitting Greece, I must, in a few words, ex- 
plain the nature of the Protocol of February 3d, 
1830, which gave rise to so much confusion.' The 
previous Protocol of March 22d, 1829, had been 
framed in accordance with the suggestions of 
the Ambassadors of the Three Powers, who, as- 
sembled at Poros, had instituted an inquiry into 
the previous government of Greece, and into the 
statistics, topography, and finances of the various 
populations of Continental Greece who had taken 
part in the war. This Protocol fixed, as the 
boundary of the Greek State, that which was the 
natural line of demarcation between the contend- 
ing populations, and which constituted the real 
military frontiers both of Turkey and of Greece ; 
defined by natural lines of demarcation, and sup- 
ported by positions of military strength. This was 
the great and practical object of an intervention 
aiming at pacification ; and the Ambassadors, in 
adopting the line so recommended, did little more 
than admit what did exist, and sanction rights 
which had been practically acquired. 


This frontier extended from the passes of 
Thermopyle, on the Gulf of Volo, to the passes 
of the Makronoros, on the Gulf of Arta. 

The Protocol of the 2 2d March further esta- 
blished the independent administration of Greece ; 
reserving the suzerainete, and a yearly tribute, to 
the Porte. 

This act received the approbation of the 
Greeks. The Porte rejected it officially, because 
it bore, together with the signatures of the pleni- 
potentiaries of England and France, that of the 
plenipotentiary of Russia, with which power she 
was actually at war on the receipt of the docu- 
ment ; and, as the allies persisted in forcing 
this signature upon her, she declared the arrange- 
ment as established " de facto" and admitted the 
intervention as " sous entendue." 

A few days, however, previously to the signa- 
ture of the treaty of Adrianople, she formally 
acceded to the Protocol. At the treaty of Adria- 
nople, that Protocol was made a positive stipu- 
lation between the contracting parties, being con- 
sidered as binding as if inserted verbatim in the 

The Protocol of March 22d, was thus proposed 
by the parties to the treaty of the 6th July, and 
was finally admitted by the belligerents ; it there- 
fore satisfactorily settled the material questions 
relating to the pacification of Greece. It was the 
conclusion of the acts emanating from the Triple 

VOL. I. l 


Alliance, and was, furthermore, established by a 
separate treaty between Russia and the Porte : 
and the basis thus definitively settled, after costing 
so much anxiety and labour ; exposing for so 
long a period the peace of Europe to continual 
hazard ; involving pecuniary sacrifices to so great 
an amount ; after having given rise to the battle 
of Navarino and the Russian war ; — was now 
ratified with a solemnity no less imposing than 
the previous complications had been alarming: 
and Europe and the East, for the first time after 
ten years of war and convulsion, could breathe 
with freedom ; and yielded to the illusion, that, 
at length the alliance of July had accomplished its 
end — the " Pacification of the East." 

This illusion had endured for four months, 
when it was dissipated by the Protocol of February 
3d, 1830, which created Greece an independent 
and sovereign state ; and, in compensation to 
Turkey for this change in the original stipulations, 
reduced on one side the territory previously as- 
signed to Greece — restoring Acarnania to Turkey, 
but extending the Greek territory on the east, for 
the purpose of fixing a better frontier line : that is 
to say, the natural frontiers were thrown open 
by this new act ; and, while an expensive system 
of government was imposed on Greece, its territory 
and resources were diminished ; the previous acts 
of the Alliance set at naught, and the solemn com- 
pact with Turkey violated. 


Thus the Alliance interfered, without necessity, 
under the pretext of adjusting differences between 
parties, who neither of them, in this respect, claimed 
its intervention : the judgment, so given, was a vio- 
lation of compact, it unsettled that which did exist, 
and it was rejected by both parties to whom it was 

When powers with hostile interests, stand face 
to face, each with half the world at its back, 
balancing each other's power, and controlling each 
other's supremacy ; — when two powers, one aiming 
at universal dominion, by disorganising and con- 
vulsing states ; the other looking only to peace, 
and seeking to consolidate and defend — sign a 
compact by which they are bound to act together, 
then either the aggressive or the conservative 
policy must wholly triumph throughout the world. 
By this Alliance, either the ambition of Russia was 
sacrificed to the preponderance of England, or the 
power of England was rendered available for the 
projects of Russia. A knowledge of the East would 
have given to England the means of controlling 

* " Having by this treaty (of Adrianople) imposed upon 
Turkey the acceptance of the Protocol of March 22d, which 
secured to her the suzerainete of Greece, and a yearly tribute 
from that country, Russia used all her influence to procure the 
independence of Greece, and the violation, by herself and her 
allies, of the agreement which she had made an integral part of 
the Treaty of Adrianople." — Progress of Russia in the East, 
p. 10G. 



Russia ; our ignorance of the East has given to 
Russia the control of England, the disposal of her 
treasure, the direction of her foreign department 
and marine, the keeping of her character and her 
honour, and the patronage of her diplomatic ser- 
vice. Thence the perversion of the national mind, 
toleration of insult, familiarisation with contempt ; 
and, finally, we have arrived at that point of po- 
litical degradation, where we pursue the policy 
of Russia, believing it to be the interest of 

Greece, when struggling for existence, passed 
fundamental laws for the exclusion of the influence 
of Russia, her former patron, the projector of her 
revolution, and the enemy of the Porte ; and she 
surrendered herself to England, invoking her pro- 
tection, direction, and a sovereign of her choice. 
Now, England has there neither consideration nor 
influence : Russia is supreme ! England has ad- 
vanced to Greece nearly 5,000,000/., and has no 
right to remuneration — certainly, none to grati- 
tude. Russia has advanced 666,000/., of which a 
sum of 500,000/. has found its way back to her, 
and holds the mortgage for two-thirds of the allied 
loan of 2,400,000/. ! England having abandoned 
her claims, and having sacrificed her former mort- 
gage for the previous loans of 2,800,000/. Greece, 
in an evil hour for her and for us, invoked our 
protection ; we have betrayed her to the power she 
dreaded ; we have transferred her and our money to 


the power we sought to restrain. In Greece, no less 
strikingly than in Turkey, Persia, Central Asia, &c, 
has Russia advanced towards supremacy and do- 
minion, by the use she has been enabled to make 
in the East of the power of England, while exhi- 
biting to the Eastern world her European pre- 
ponderance, in insult and injury, heaped with im- 
punity on Great Britain. 

Turkey is perishing, and, useful lesson ! perish- 
ing through the absence of diplomacy. But some 
of the greatest men of England have considered 
England's power and dominion, and therefore ex- 
istence, contingent on the preservation of Turkey. 
May not this consideration have occurred to other 
cabinets ? Unless some mind arises in England 
equal to the circumstances, most certainly will 
the desire and prospect of sharing the spoils of 
England present themselves to the governments 
whose aggressions we suffer to proceed unopposed ; 
whose appetite will be whetted, and whose power 
will be increased, by the incorporated fragments of 
the Ottoman empire. The partition of Turkey 
will become a maritime, as that of Poland was a 
territorial, bond of union. 





The seclusion of our worthy consul, Mr. Meyer, 
had not been broken in upon by a stranger for 
eight years. We remained here a couple of weeks, 
crossed to Santa Maura, visited the opposite point 
of Anactorium, and roamed about the ruins of 
Nicopolis : of all which places enough has been 

Permission had been requested for H. M. S. 
Mastiff to enter and survey the Gulf; the Meteor, 
also, Captain Copeland's surveying vessel, was 
heard of in the Gulf of Volo, at the other extremity 
of the proposed frontier line : their simultaneous 
appearance occasioned great alarm, to which our 
presence added, being supposed to be the commis- 
sioners sent to fix the boundary. My companion's 
valet being dressed, as we then were, a la Franpaise, 
there was no use in denying that we really were 
the three commissioners, — English, French, and 
Russian, sent to plant stakes. 


We were very anxious to visit the Greek chiefs, 
Gogo and Coutelidas ; but Mr. Mayer induced us 
to forego this plan, lest the Turks should have 
suspected us of some political object. We had, 
therefore, no alternative but that of returning to 
Greece, or endeavouring to reach Janina, which 
was actually in possession of Veli Bey. The road 
was safe as far as the Pende-Pigadia ; thence we 
might get to Veli Bey's camp ; and then trust to 
chance, and to the movements of the troops, for 
penetrating further ; and, if we found that imprac- 
ticable, we had only to return, as, whatever might 
become the relative positions or circumstances 
of the adverse factions, Veli Bey had his retreat 
secured on Arta and Prevesa. 

Having determined, therefore, on an attempt 
to reach Janina, on the 16th of June we sailed 
with the sea-breeze at noon for Salaora, where we 
arrived in two hours. Our boatman was an Arab, 
whom we had hired in consequence of having 
been spectators of a dispute between him and the 
harbour-master of Prevesa, a Greek, and formerly 
commander of one of the mysticoes that had forced 
so gallantly their way into the Gulf. The Arab, 
with great patience, submitted to insults and ex- 
actions from the Greek and his Albanian under- 
lings; but, when he got on board of his caique, 
while the shore was lined with Turks and Albani- 
ans, he stood, like Palinurus, on the elevated poop, 


and, taking off his cap, raised his arms, and impre- 
cated Heaven's wrath on the whole Skipetar race. 

We saw at Salaora several of the Greek sixty- 
eight-pound shot, which had destroyed the few 
houses that were there. It was no easy matter to 
procure horses. A Cephaloniote went to the Aga, 
and proposed that we should hire his ati (charger), 
saying, " They will pay you a dollar for the trip ; " 
at which proposal the Aga seemed very indignant, 
which produced on the part of the Greek a torrent 
of the most foul-mouthed abuse. During the al- 
tercation, several Greeks, squatted around, and gave 
evident signs of approbation, while the Turkish 
soldiers* pretended not to understand the matter, 
and the Aga affected to laugh. 

" Are dollars so rife amongst you," exclaimed 
the Ionian, u that you spurn them so ? Why, 
then, do you not get a new fustanel for yourself, 
and pay your soldiers their arrears ? And what 
have you to do with horses ? Get zarouchia (rulde 
slippers used by the mountaineers) instead, for you 
will soon have to run and hide yourselves among 
the rocks." 

This seemed most strange, according to our 
preconceived notions of Albanian fierceness and 
haughtiness ; and, putting together the scorn of 

* This, of course, should be " Albanian soldiers." In my 
journal, large additions have been made, but the records made 
on the spot, of impressions received, have been preserved. 


the Arab, and the volubility of the Greek, we 
began to think that, after all, even the Skipetars 
might be more sinned against than sinning. 

Along the road, on approaching Arta, we saw 
on all sides gardens and well-cultivated fields, filled 
with labourers. We passed 140 pack-horses between 
Salaora and Arta. We met the Greeks armed, 
Greek priests singing in chorus, with wild-looking 
Albanians, and could not resist the momentary 
conclusion, that we had come all this way for 
nothing, and that Albania w T as as tranquil as any 
other land. We asked our muleteer (a Greek) if 
the Turks oppressed him ? he answered, " some- 
times;" but immediately afterwards related how, 
some days before, twenty of his countrymen had 
been taken {angaria *) to transport to Janina the 
baggage of Veli Bey. There, other Turks had 
seized upon them ; and only eighteen returned to 
Arta : two had been killed, and their mules taken. 
We asked him how they could endure such treat- 
ment, and why he did not go into Greece ? He 
said it always had been so, and if he attempted to 
escape he might be killed ; and who knew if, after 
all, he would be better treated in Greece ? This 
fact, the first that came more immediately under 

* That is, corvee, or forced labour ; which, in Turkey, is 
not in principle the same as the former practice throughout 
Europe, or of some countries at the present day. The corvee in 
Turkey is allotted by the municipal authorities. The present 
and similar instances are, of course, direct violations of the law. 


our eyes, relieved us from further alarm ; we saw 
we were yet in time to come in for a share of the 
dramatic and the picturesque. 

From Salaora to Arta they calculate three 
hours and a half; but, displaying a regard for our 
property which we denied to our persons, we had 
left our watches behind : we were, therefore, never 
able to keep any exact register of distance by time. 
The necessity of travelling with the lightest pos- 
sible baggage not -only deprived us of every species 
of convenience, such as canteen, bed and bedding, 
but also of the more important utensils for a 
traveller, books of reference. We were generally 
prevented, by the jealousy even of our own guards, 
from taking notes ; and, so far from being able to 
carry away geological and other specimens, I had 
to make it a rule not to pay attention to the strata. 
However, the political circumstances of the coun- 
try, and the present condition and future prospects 
of the inhabitants, were the inducements which 
led us to run the risks, and undergo the hardships 
of such a journey at such a moment, and left us 
little time for collecting a hortus siccus, or for 
forming a register of births and marriages. 

We soon came on the road which Ali Pasha 
had made for carriages, from Prevesa to Janina. 
It looks quite civilised ; thirty feet wide, a ditch 
on either side, supported by a wall; but it is 
traversed every twenty-five paces by a row of 
stones, intended, I suppose, to preserve it in form, 


and to ensure its convexity. But the soil having 
been worn away, the rows or walls of stones rise 
above the level of the road, and render it perfectly 
impracticable for carnages, and strange hopping 
for foot passengers, whether bipeds or quadrupeds. 
The plain, as well as the portion now under water, 
that forms the Vivaria, is clay. The small por- 
tions of it which I have been able to examine con- 
tain neither organic remains nor minerals ; neither 
are those under .water, nor the borders on the 
shore, covered with vegetable soil. Further from 
the shore, and in the centre of the plain, it is 
covered with a thin crust of earth ; to which 
circumstance I am inclined to attribute the 
proverbial fertility of the plain of Arta. Their 
ploughs, which scratch and move the soil to the 
depth of three or four inches, never reach nor 
turn up to the surface the deeper soil, which has 
been fertilised by the sinking of the finer earth, 
and the filtration of decayed vegetables and animal 
matter. In deep soils all this is irrevocably lost 
to them ; but here, on the clay, which, once satu- 
rated, is impervious to moisture, the natural ma- 
nure remains mixed with the shallow soil, and is 
kept within the reach of their superficial culti- 
vation. The clay is very tenacious, and cracks 
excessively in drought ; so, that in the lower part of 
the plain, trees are scarce, and the few there are 
have spreading roots. 

As we approached the city, the road, though 

156 ARTA. 

broken and clogged up, with its ditch on either 
side, and overhanging trees, presented a scene such 
as I had not had the gratification of seeing for 
four years. Vineyards and gardens smiled around, 
mingled with fruit-trees, and divided by hedges ; 
and some apparently magnificent building appeared 
above the trees, and marked the position of the 
city. The very dust along the road had its 
interest ; and I anticipated finding an equally 
pleasing contrast in Arta with the ruined cities 
I had become accustomed to of late. Very dif- 
ferent, however, was the prospect awaiting me. 
In Greece the destruction of the towns is so com- 
plete, as now to present little more than the 
interest of historic facts : but here the causes of 
destruction are still active ; and, on entering Arta, 
we were stopped by masses of ruins, over which 
a path had not yet been formed, and from which 
the dust seemed scarcely to have been blown away. 
At the commencement of the revolution, and 
before its characters were well defined, the Alba- 
nians, who at first saw only the fact of resistance 
to the Turks, were inclined to make common 
cause with the Greeks ; but the moment they per- 
ceived that the Greek movement was a national 
one, they immediately abandoned the hasty alli- 
ance. But, on the other hand, the Albanians have 
frustrated every plan of the Porte for the subjuga- 
tion of the Peloponnesus. At Arta the Albanians 
assisted the Greek rising ; but the house we occu- 

ART A. 157 

pied, designated " Casa Comboti," was defended 
for fifteen days by the Turkish muselim, who had 
been sent by Ismael Pasha, then besieging Ali 
Pasha at Janina. The walls and upper windows 
still bear the marks of bullets — the door, of fire 
and the axe ; the traces of Marco Botzari's first 
exploit. Here his name was first made familiar 
with men's lips, and his daring boldness recorded 
as that of another Capaneus, — 

Ammunition failing, the Greeks offered to sup- 
ply it ; and Ta'ir Abas was sent by the Albanians 
to receive it at Missolonghi, and, at the same 
time, to observe the condition and penetrate the 
designs of the Greeks. He soon returned, and 
told his compatriots that he had seen flags with 
crosses, and heard of nothing but " yivog" and 
" IXivkcicc" " race " and " liberty." They received 
the ammunition — turned their arms against the 
Greeks (who were also betrayed and deserted by 
their co-religionists, Gogo and Contelidas) — and 
drove them beyond the Makronoros. Then, in 
turn, abandoning Ali Pasha, they submitted to the 
Porte. The Greeks did not injure the town. 
Many of the inhabitants, who had not been con- 
nected with the insurrection, but who feared the 
indiscriminate vengeance of the Turks, retired 
with them. The Turks, again in possession of 
the place (that is to say, the Albanians, after they 
had changed sides), destroyed the houses of those 

158 ARTA. 

who had fled ; although, when too late, they re- 
pented them of their blind fury. A few hours after 
the flight of the Greeks, the Albanians arrived, 
ravaging the country in their march. The whole 
population, suddenly panic-struck, took to flight. 
The Albanians, exasperated, pursued them, and 
were but at a short distance, when — " fortunately 
it was near supper time" — a flock of 5000 sheep 
crossed their path and spoiled the scent. The 
fugitives, during the night, put Makronoros be- 
hind them. Among these was the own«r of 
the house we occupied. She had spent five 
years at Corfu, and returned still possessed of 
some little property, which she expended in fitting 
up a house and clearing a garden. On which 
twenty Albanians were immediately quartered upon 
her, and she took refuge in the consulate (the 
house is hers, but rented by the English consul), 
and lives now in one of the stalls of her father's 

Within the year, the township, in its present 
wretched condition, has paid 200,000 piastres to 
Veli Bey. To me it is inexplicable where these 
Greeks get their money ; but, however little men 
may gain, if they spend less, they are rich. Besides 
the contributions in money, they have' to lodge, 
feed, clothe, serve, and even shave the soldiers, 
gratis ; unless we reckon notes of hand, and " pro- 
mises to pay " when they receive their arrears. I 
forgot to inquire at what discount this scrip 

ARTA. 159 

could be obtained. Thus, under circumstances 
that would have driven to desperation the more 
impatient and less easily satisfied Gothic tribes of 
Western Europe, this population perseveres in 
industry and in hope ; improving every hour, hus- 
banding every resource ; sowing their seed by 
stealth, and reaping their own as if it were a 
theft. What must be their condition, when they 
look back with gratitude to Ali Pasha! His 
tyranny, though indiscriminate, was single : neither 
robbery nor oppression, indignity nor violence, had 
any one to apprehend whose account was settled 
with him. They say, u We thought him a tyrant, 
and we rejoiced in his destruction ; but it is not 
his feet we would kiss, but the very dust beneath 
them, could he be restored to us ! " 




17th. — We spent this day in paying (and receiving 
in return) visits to the governor, two beys, and the 
cadi. We found our vice-consul, Dr. Lucas, an 
excellent cicerone. He is of Albanian extraction, 
that is, from the Albanian colonies established in 
Sicily, has long resided in this country, and 
speaks the Greek as well as his mother tongue. 
His quality of physician is, no doubt, of great 
service to him ; and we found him most atten- 
tive and communicative. He is the only servant 
of the British government whom I ever met with 
in the East, who has assisted me in my endeavours 
to establish an intercourse with the natives of the 
country. Musseli Bey, the governor, brother of 
Veli Bey, who is ruler of all Lower Albania, occu- 
pies the palace of the archbishop, once the resi- 
dence of Porphyrius, our host at Anatolico. The 
church is a granary ; a mosque, a den of palicari. 


Devastation is now the ruling deity, and " no fond 
abodes" circumscribe its worship. The palace is 
one of the few buildings that still stand. The 
apartments are airy and spacious ; and the view 
from the windows of the divan, overlooking a bend 
of the river, and extending towards the hills, was 
so beautiful, that it constantly distracted me from 
the long and varied conversation we had with the 
Bey, and his Albanians who filled the spacious 
apartment. We obtained so much favour among 
them, that when he came to return our visit, * 
they crowded every part of the house we occupied, 
though it was not a small one. They stood up 
even on the sofas, and left behind them an odour 
which scarcely with ventilation and time was got 
rid of. 

* This circumstance may appear remarkable. Turkish go- 
vernors are not in the habit of paying such honours to travel- 
ling gentlemen ; and there was no possibility of our having ac- 
quired, immediately upon our arrival, any personal consideration 
peculiar to ourselves. We attributed the circumstance at the 
time, and I think justly, to the remarkable contrast between the 
English agent here and in other places. However humble 
his station, he had a character for honesty ; and mixed 
with the people as in other parts of the world, knowing their 
manners, and speaking their language. Strange that such 
qualification in the holder of a most insignificant vice-consulate 
should be a subject of remark and observation to two English 
travellers, and should be the cause of their receiving marks of 
respect and means of information. 

VOL. I, M 


Musseli Bey had heard the report that we 
were come to settle the frontiers, and was ex- 
ceedingly satisfied to learn that this was not the 
case. He anxiously inquired where the line was 
to be drawn ; and exclaimed against the injustice 
done to Albania, whose " bread " was thus given 
away. We answered, that they had already lost 
not only so much, but more than the Protocol 
had assigned to the Greeks ; that so many years 
of war had advanced them nothing; and that 
the Greeks complained of not having at least all 
the territory they had conquered. It was here 
evidently the realisation of the old proverb. The 
Greeks made an outcry, why should the Albanians 
be behind them ? The Protocol was the mad dog, 
and every one flung his stone. The conversation 
now turned on the greatness, power, and inven- 
tions, of England. We were overwhelmed with 
questions, which might have gone on till now, had 
we not stopped their mouths with steam-coaches 
and Perkins's guns. Going from Arta to Janina 
in an hour, and mowing down a regiment, while a 
barber was shaving a single chin, were calculations 
which they immediately made. When their asto- 
nishment had somewhat subsided, a last, lagging 
question surprised us in our turn : " And what 
have you invented since f " 

A Bin Bashi, who had been listening in silence, 
at length turned round to his people, and said, 


with a thoughtful shake of the head, " We must 
take the crown from them, and give it to the 

They fancy the Americans our enemies ; that 
they were formerly our rayas ; and that they will 
overturn England, as Greece will Turkey. The 
Bey overheard the remark, and, having had his 
eyes opened at Shumla and Varna, reproved him 
sharply. " Are you not ashamed," said he, " of 
such filthy ignorance ? Are we, who owe to others 
the crown we have kept, to speak of giving away 
the crowns of Europe ? " 

The Albanians seem most anxious to display, 
on all occasions, their respect for England ; and 
are most forward to confess their obligations to 
us in the Russian war.* But you may perceive, 
in every expression, a mixture of hatred and fear ; 
for they look at Greece, that severer wound to 
Osmanli pride than any triumph of the Russians, 
and attribute its independence to England. Our 

* This gratitude, which I, no doubt, then thought justly 
founded, I have since been puzzled to account for ; but certain 
it is, that, through the whole of Turkey, the belief was at that 
time established, that England had saved Turkey from imminent 
destruction. Perhaps, it was merely because they thought she 
ought to do so. This general conviction was strengthened 
by the dread of the Russians for England, which every Al- 
banian or Turk, who had come in contact with a Russian 
bivouack, must have obtained the consciousness of. 



power and our motives are equally incomprehen- 
sible to them ; and no wonder. 

The subject of religion was broached among 
them. One of the party was defending high 
church principles, when an officer — filthy, ugly, 
and, though not old, toothless, and altogether a 
jovial sort of savage, calling himself a "Frank" — 
came and placed a chair before us, and seated 
himself in our fashion. He pointed his finger 
at the defender of the faith, and burst into the 
most immoderate fit of laughter. When h'e had 
recovered his breath, he exclaimed, " That fool, 
then, goes to his mosque and prays one way, 
as if God were not every way. " Then, pointing 
to us, " You go to church, and pray to your 
Panagia (Mary), and each thinks the other will 
be damned ; which one or other, or, perhaps, 
both of you certainly will be. I worship both, 
and revile neither; so, when I go to Paradise, 
I am sure of one friend, if not of two." The 
other inveighed against the depravity of the age 
that tolerated such unbelievers; and said, that 
even the Greeks would not suffer amongst them 
an infidel like him. The scoffer had, however, 
the laugh on his side ; and, when his antagonist 
muttered something of his repenting this one day, 
he was seized with a louder fit of laughter than 
before, in which the bystanders joined; clearly 
shewing the tendency of Albanian faith — % auxKovXcc 


hvcci rj "^vyji pov avrrj vcc faku Kd>Jka — " My purse is 
my soul ; may it prosper." We recognised the 
freethinker for a Turkish freemason, or Becktashi, 
by the polished piece of stalagmite from the cave 
of Hadgi Becktash, suspended round his neck. 
Another of the Bin Bashis wore the same symbol ; 
but we could not extract from them any inform- 
ation as to the extent and feelings of the order 
in Albania, except this, that a Christian may be- 
come a Mussulman, a Turk, a Jew ; but a Beck- 
tashi is a Becktashi for ever. 

Hearing that Musseli Bey was going into 
Chamouria, to put an end to a dispute betwixt 
two factions of the Chami, 2000 of whom were 
fighting hard only twenty miles from Arta, we 
requested permission to accompany him. He 
would have been very glad of our company, he 
said, but that his presence was no longer neces- 
sary; we had nothing left, therefore, to do, but 
to submit, with what patience we could muster, to 
the disappointment of being twelve days in Al- 
bania, existing in the midst of the most perfect 

The Bey is a middle-aged man ; spare, but 
well put together. He left on me the impression 
not of the best parts of the Skipetar character : 
his unquiet eye, his lank and sallow countenance, 
were deeply stamped with depravity and cunning. 
For the sake of contrast, I suppose, was seated by 
his side, the governor of the fort — a fat, stupid, 


good-natured looking being, short and round as 
Bacchus, or a butt. The men were rather tall than 
short ; some of them handsome ; no superfluous 
flesh ; clean limbed and round jointed, with ex- 
pressive countenances, and free carriage. Muscle 
seemed to beat both bone and blood ; and energy 
to bear away the palm from strength. But there 
was no family-like resemblance amongst them ; 
and their dress, which shews so well the outline 
of the person, and leaves completely bare the 
neck, forehead, and temples, is not a costume 
calculated to give an air of uniformity. None of 
them were particularly cleanly ; but every kirtle, 
or fustanel, was flounced about as if it had been 
a peacock's tail; and every urchin of three feet 
strutted along with the air of a Colossus. 

We next went to Calio Bey, the first Osmanli 
family in the country; and, as Mr. Meyer had 
told us, one of the most intelligent men. He re- 
ceived us with extreme politeness and urbanity. 
On our previous visit to the governor we had been 
amused at the avidity with which every expression 
was caught at that could be construed unfavour- 
ably to the Sultan, or the Turks. We now, 
amongst the Osmanlis, heard the Albanians 
abused in the most unqualified manner, and, of 
course, the poor Greeks, who are free game to 
both parties. Our Osmanli host did not know 
which of the two, Albanians or Greeks, he detested 
most ; but he was very sure of two things, that 


they were both degenerate races, and that neither 
of them would come to a good end. But he had 
held a situation in Greece under Veli Pasha ; and 
when we came to speak of things in detail, we 
found that there were many lights to pick out in 
the broad shadows of his national prejudices. In 
answer to his inquiries, we informed him of the 
rise of value of land in Greece ; of the progress of 
building ; of the extension of cultivation ; of the 
immunity of the peasant, save from government 
taxes (fortunately, he was not inquisitive upon that 
score, nor as to the election of municipal officers, 
or the administration of justice, because all these 
things seemed to the Turks as the necessary ac- 
companiment of tranquillity), and the security of 
the property of the rich.* We told him we had 
seen Turks pleased and contented in Greece, and 
allowed to retain their arms while the Greeks were 
disarmed. Though he said little, he seemed to 
reflect much on these facts, which he could believe 
from the mouth of an European. Perhaps we left 
him less certain than we found him, of the bad end 
the Greeks would come to, determining on our 
next visit to endeavour to set the Albanians also 
right in his opinion, which, I must allow, we 
should have found rather a more difficult task. 

The political affections of the Osmanlis are 
strangely distracted. They are generally satisfied 

* This, of course, refers to the progress made between 
1828-9, before Capodistrias could pull up. 


with the destruction of the Janissaries ; but they 
greatly fear the consequent increase of the Sultan's 
power. They detest the Albanians, to whose vio- 
lence and tyranny they are subject,* and appre- 
hend more the protection of the regular troops, 
because they see in them a system which, once es- 
tablished, will be all powerful. They wish the 
Albanians to beat the Greeks ; and they wish the 
Albanians to be beaten : they wish the Nizzamf to 
thrash the Albanians ; but are excessively averse 
to the Nizzam being in any way successful. 

At Constantinople, we had found it very dif- 
ficult to ascertain the sentiments of the Turks on 
the subject of the new military organisation. 
Here there were no motives for disguise,^; and 
Calio Bey candidly allowed many of its advantages, 
while, instead of concealing his objections, he 
anxiously endeavoured to convince us of their 
justice, and urged them not as a matter of party, 
but of faith. We thus discussed the subject with 
him at great length. 

* In such a state of humiliating dependence are the Os- 
manlis kept, that Turkish Beys are often not allowed to visit 
their farms without the written permission of the Arnaout 

f Regular troops. 

J And, what was far more important, there were oppor- 
tunities of intercourse. The supposition of there being motives 
of disguise originated in this, that when I began to have means 
of intercourse, my ingenuity was taxed to find reasons for not 
having had it before. 


The following conversation, which I set down 
nearly verbatim, immediately after it occurred, will, 
perhaps, hest illustrate the opinions of the best 
class of Turks on these heads. 

" Our law," said he, " is the Koran ; and we 
must judge of the acts of the Sultan, not by the 
praise or blame of the ignorant, but by their 
conformity with the precepts of our religion. For 
some of his acts I applaud him ; for some, I 
condemn him. Our law and our practice are 
widely different. The law justifies a Raya in 
killing a Mussulman if he enters his house by 
force, or even against his will. What connexion, 
then, can it have with the oppression and injustice 
which now pervade the land ? ' One hour,' says 
Mahomet, '■ usefully devoted to the administration 
of justice, and the state, is worth seventy years of 
Paradise.' The Koran tells us that * the ink of the 
wise man is more precious than the blood of the 
martyr.' Is it, then, our religion that has ren- 
dered us ignorant, or has driven away the science 
by which we nourished, to raise the Europeans 
over our heads ? Religion and policy applaud the 
Sultan for humbling men who were oppressors and 
tyrants, enemies of the people, as well as of the 
Sultan, and alike ignorant of and despising religion 
and letters. The Sultan has thrice saved Turkey 
from perdition; he has destroyed the Janissaries, 
the Dere Beys, and the great rebel chiefs. As to 
regular troops, when our law flourished were not 


ours the best disciplined in the world ? and had 
that law been maintained, would the Janissaries 
have become a wound instead of a sword in the 
hand of the state ? Can religion forbid men to 
stand or to walk together, to obey their superiors, 
and fight their enemies ? Is it not, besides, from 
our very practices of religion, that men first learnt 
discipline ? Do we not kneel all together with the 
Imaum ? do we not rise up with him ? do we not 
raise our hands at the same moment ? Men may 
object to the Nizzam because they are enemies of 
honesty and peace, but not because they are 
friends of the law of Islam. But there are 
other points upon which the Sultan is to be con- 
demned. He has violated our system of taxation ; 
he has, more than his predecessors, falsified the 
coin ; and, in copying Europe, he has introduced 
practices and manners which are no profit to him, 
and which exasperate men's minds against him. 
He has dressed all men alike, so that respect is not 
paid where it is due ; and he has dressed Mussul- 
mans like Franks, so that we risk giving the sa- 
lutation of peace to infidels. One of our prin- 
cipal articles of faith is the abdest five times a day : 
why, then, dress us in tight sleeves and pantaloons, 
and, above all, with stockings and shoes, to the 
constant inconvenience of the whole people, so as 
to make the observances of religion oppressive?" 

We asked him, if the Sultan, as Caliph, and 
the Ulema, could not, by their joint authority, 


change an article of faith ? He replied, warmly, 
" The Sultan as Caliph, and the Mufti and Ulema 
as expounders of the law, would lose their own 
authority if they attempted to undermine the sole 
basis on which it rests. The Sultan and Mufti, to 
preserve the unity of the faith, may decide upon a 
question that divides the faithful ; but the subject 
of the difference, and the grounds of the decision, 
must be alike drawn from the Koran." 

We asked him, if these opinions were uni- 
versal, how they had not prevented the Sultan 
from attempting such innovations ? He said, 
"the best portion of the people, rejoiced at the 
destruction of the Janissaries, were strongly pre- 
possessed in favour of the Sultan, and, if they 
were dissatisfied with other things, they held their 
tongues, through ignorance of their own feelings 
and power. They had, besides, before their eyes, 
the apprehension of a reaction ; the decision and 
executions of the Sultan had inspired universal 
terror. The defection of Greece, the Persian and 
the Russian war, had broken the spirit of the 
nation, while the subdivision of interests, and the 
separation of races, allowed no union to be formed 
which would have brought the national feeling to 
bear usefully. But, above all, were the Ulema 
and Constantinople to blame ? They should have 
secured a national and permanent Divan, before 
sanctioning and effecting the destruction of the 
Janissaries. How has the Sultan maintained him- 


self hitherto ? What is his Nizzam ? What is 
their number or instruction ? They will no doubt 
become powerful ; but what have they been hither- 
to, but boys of ten or twelve years of age, who 
know not what religion or duty mean, and who 
already presume to despise their betters, and will 
grow up to divide Mussulmans into two factions — 
and all about pantaloons and turbans ?"* 

Our next most interesting acquaintance was 
the Cadi, an Osmanli from the metropolis : a man 
not unlike Rossini in features, though I had' no 
means of judging of his musical powers ; but he 
was free of speech to volubility ; and some of his 
louder tones, though diplomacy was his theme, 
positively broke into recitative. He was at dinner 
when we first called on him; but the hospitable 
habits of Osmanlis know no unseasonable in- 
trusions. - With him — a man acquainted with 
? the town," and versed in public life and affairs — 
our conversation turned on foreign politics. He 
expressed the greatest indignation at the inter- 
ference of the three powers in the affairs of 
Greece ; and asked us by what arguments our 
governments pretended to justify to their own 
people so flagrant a violation of the rights of 
nations ; which, backed by such power, had dis- 
membered their empire, overcast every prospect 

* We went to visit a farm of Calio Bey, celebrated for its 
tobacco. For an account of the cultivation of this article, see 
Appendix, No. 6. 


of internal amelioration, and cast them, a bound 
victim, to their treacherous foe, and our treacherous 
friend ? However, we debated the point with him ; 
and, of many arguments used, one alone succeeded 
in making any impression ; I may therefore men- 
tion it, as, in fact, it is the only ground upon 
which the question can be put in opposition to a 
Turkish antagonist. 

The Sultan, I observed, as sovereign of Greece, 
had entered into treaties with us for the com- 
merce of that country ; these treaties became null 
by the confusion that prevailed; we could only 
appeal to the legitimate sovereign. The Greeks, 
subjects of the Sultan, had committed piracies 
to an enormous extent on our commerce ; we 
applied to their sovereign for indemnification. He 
has one of two courses open to him — to give us 
compensation; or, by declaring them pirates, to 
abandon them to the justice of those they had 
injured. Our government, in justice to their 
own subjects, had but one of two courses open to 
them also — that of compelling compensation from 
the Sultan, or from the Greeks. The Sultan 
would adopt neither course ; the European govern- 
ments leniently deferred the enforcing their just 
claims, and seven years of procrastination and 
patient remonstrance, had only accumulated wrong 
on wrong, and left the solution as hopeless at the 
end of that period as it was at the commencement. 
The enforcement of our treaties, the compensation 


of our subjects, the restoration of so long inter- 
rupted tranquillity, and the free navigation of the 
seas, required us, at length, to exert the power we 
possessed, not to avenge, but to pacify ; not to 
make war, but to restore peace. With what wis- 
dom that intervention was exercised, facts would 
shew : the intractable rebels and incorrigible pi- 
rates had immediately become quiet and peace- 
able ; the seas were reopened to commerce ; from 
enemies they became useful allies, and offered to 
the Turks a place of refuge from their own in- 
ternal convulsions, and a personal security, which 
their own government could not afford. 

The Cadi said that this was to him altogether 
a new argument, and that he felt its force; but 
that, still, he could not see that our right to in- 
demnify ourselves, gave us any right so to exercise 
our power, that the Ottoman empire should be 
overturned by our good intentions and benevolent 

We answered, in turn, that his objection was 
equally just ; and that the independence of Greece, 
which did not enter into our first plans, was 
brought about by the obstinacy of the Sultan. 
He has only to go on in the same course to bring 
about the independence of more countries than 
Greece, even with our best dispositions to prevent 
it. " May the devil's ears be stopped /" exclaimed 
the Cadi. " Well, well," said he, after a moment's 
pause, "wrong or not, we are always sure to 


suffer; the weakness and corruption of our go- 
vernment are likely enough to give you a pretext. 
I know/' he added, " that it is to you we owe our 
deliverance from the Russians, who were brought 
upon us by the perverseness of the Sultan,* at the 
very moment that he had taken from his people 
the means and the inclination to resist them. 
What would you say of a man who w T ould invite 
his friends to a marriage-feast, without having 
butter and rice in the house ? and if you cannot 
make a marriage-feast without pilaf, can you make 
war without pilaf? Not content with cutting off 
the Janissaries, he immediately afterwards attempt- 
ed to exterminate the Becktashis. I was then at 
Constantinople, and every morning I felt my head 
with both my hands (suiting the action to the 
word) before I was sure that it was on my 
shoulders. In the midst of this panic, he assem- 
bles the Pashas, Beys, and Ayans, and asks them 
if they would fight the Russians ? Who would 
dare to say to the Sultan that he would not ? But 
who would fight for such a government when they 
would have preferred a Jew or a Gipsy for a 
Sultan ? I have left my home and avocations at 
Constantinople for the hovel you see me in, and 
am contented to live among these savages, because 

* The war was by no means the Sultan's act ; but I give 
the conversation as it occurred. It illustrates the political 
effects that may be the result of the dissemination of news ; 
which power is altogether in Russian hands. 


I am out of the Sultan's reach." I need not add 
that our friend was a Becktashi.* 

The discordant opinions and interests of the 
different communities into which the population is 
split, the changes in progress in Turkey, and the 
altered position of Greece, the agitation of the 
question of the limits, the ignorance in which they 
are of, and the eagerness they have to know, the 
dispositions of the European cabinets, together 
with the strange occurrence of travellers in their 
country, have surrounded us with an interest, and 
a confidence, quite extraordinary. They over- 
whelm us with questions, and hang upon our 
answers ; and thus are exposed to us their secret 
aims and motives. Here Turkish opinion, unveiled 
and undisguised, displays an activity and intelli- 
gence that would in vain be sought for in Con- 
stantinople ;f and the hope daily grows upon me, 
that the present fermentation will lead to political 
regeneration — a thing not so difficult in Turkey, I 
should think, as many suppose. 

* This, and all other individuals of whom facts or opinions 
are recorded, which, by any contingency, might be injurious 
to them, have been ascertained to be beyond the reach of 

f The people here almost all spoke Greek, and I did not 
then know a word of Turkish. * 




By the intelligence which has arrived to-day, June 
the 19th, the plot seems to thicken fast. The 
military chest, baggage, and avant-guard, of the 
Sadrazem, we were informed by a Tartar, had left 
Adrianople eight days ago, and are expected to- 
day at Monastir. The avant-guard is composed 
of eight tambours (regiments), and amounts to be- 
tween five and six thousand men, regulars, who 
have served in the Russian campaign. The Sa- 
drazem's (Grand Vizir) departure is retarded, for 
a short time, by the measures he is taking to crush 
Arslan Bey at the first blow. Before proceeding 
westward, he wished to put in movement the 
Ayans and Spahis of Roumeli, with the twofold 
object of making them act against the Albanians, 
and of preventing insurrectionary movements in his 
rear. He wished, also, to give time to Mahmoud 
Pasha, of Larissa, to obtain some advantage over 
Arslan Bey, to add eclat to his arrival. The de- 
vastations committed by Arslan Bey and four thou- 


sand followers, at Zeitouni, Triccala, and on the 
northern borders of Thessaly, and the recent sack 
of Cogana, afforded the Sadrazem a splendid op- 
portunity for declaring himself the protector and 
avenger of the agricultural population, and for re- 
solving the struggle between the Albanians and the 
Porte into a question of government or no govern- 
ment. Arslan Bey has consequently been placed 
under the ban of the empire and the church, and 
declared a Firmanli. Ten thousand men, it is 
said, are assembled under Mahmoud Pasha, who 
promises to send the head of every rebel follower 
of Arslan Bey to Monastir. The result of this first 
operation will, no doubt, materially affect the pro- 
spects of both parties. Arslan Bey, if beaten, will 
find a passage by the mountains into Albania ; but 
he will bring discouragement to his party. The 
line of separation between the Sultan's Skipetar 
friends and foes is not distinct and straight, but 
confused and undulating; and many of the wa- 
verers will watch the first turn of fortune. Should 
Arslan Bey be successful, the Sadrazem may mount 
his horse and return to Constantinople, for his only 
strength lies in opinion, and in the Sultan's name ; 
and, by declaring Arslan Bey Firmanli, he has 
staked every thing on this throw. 

Arslan Bey is a young man and an Albanian 
hero, tells a story well, is good-looking, sings well, 
fights well, and drinks well, and has inherited from 
his father, Meuchardar of Ali Pasha, a quarter of 


the hoarded treasure the Vizir left in trust to his 
four principal favourites. He was named Governor 
of Zeitouni by the late Roumeli Valissi, who also 
made Selictar Poda Governor of Janina, and 
strengthened, as much as possible, that party. 
The difference betwixt the party of Selictar Poda 
and Veli Bey is entirely of a personal nature. 
There is blood between their houses ; but their 
retainers enlist with either, according to the con- 
ditions they can obtain. They all of them turn 
their eyes towards the pay of the Porte; but they 
are all equally indignant at the attempt of the 
Sultan to controul them in their native mountains, 
and, above all, to compel them to enlist in the 
regular troops, and to wear trousers. 

Veli Bey's feud with Selictar Poda made him a 
fit instrument for the designs of the government ; 
while he was glad to obtain, by such a coalition, 
consideration and importance. Thus a party, fa- 
vouring the Sultan, was established, though the 
individuals composing it had no common interest 
with the Porte, or inimical feelings to the other 
Albanians. Their numbers were few, but they 
had possession of the important positions of 
Janina, Arta, and the passage over the Pindus 
by Mezzo vo, from Epirus to Thessaly. 

Selictar Poda is not the chief, but the most 
influential man of the other party. He holds in 
his hands the cords which connect the remnants of 
the faction of Ali Pasha ; he is wary, artful, and, 

n 2 


if his reputation is not great in the field, it is unri- 
valled in the council ; he has great wealth, and 
possesses a fortress which has the name of being 
impregnable. The other chiefs are men of little 
consideration, and little known beyond their own 
sphere. They are, Geladin Bey, of Ochrida, uncle 
to Scodra Pasha; the Beys of Avlona, Argyro- 
Castro, Tepedelene, Gortcha, and Colonias (though 
the most influential of these last is attached to the 
Grand Vizir). These men are rivals, rather than 
confederates. They will not yield obedience to 
any of their peers, and, consequently, cannot act 
with union or energy. If the contest is prolonged, 
their rivalries and their rapacity will lead to de- 
fections ; and mutual distrust will bring them to 
anticipate each other's treachery. As for the men, 
they will stick to their leaders as long as they can : 
it is, indeed, the respect and regard of the common 
men that alone elevates one man above his fellows. 
At present, this confederation occupies all the 
plains and fortresses of their country. Impunity 
and license, under a powerful chief, may keep 
them together, without regular pay ; but, if shut 
up in their mountains, where clothing, food, and 
every necessary of life, have to be procured with 
money, and also to be obtained at sea-ports, or 
regular marts, and transported by fortresses, and 
through guarded passes, their resources and pa- 
tience would soon be exhausted, and they would 
abandon their chiefs, and the cause of Albania, for 



the accustomed rations and pay, even if these were 
only granted on the hard condition of doffing the 

Looking on the Albanians and Turks as open 
enemies, and on their struggle as regular war, the 
supposition of their being shut up in their moun- 
tains, and expelled from the plains and fortresses, 
could only be the result of a successful campaign ; 
and yet I have assumed this as a preliminary step 
to the operations of the campaign. The fact is, 
that, though each party looks upon the other as an 
enemy, yet, in the forms of their intercourse, the 
greatest harmony appears to exist, and the rebel 
does not dare to avow opposition, or to encourage 
himself or his followers by a watchword or a sym- 
bol. A buyourdi, or order, of a Pasha, is received 
by an Albanian commander of a fortress with the 
utmost submission. It requires him, perhaps, to 
give up the fortress ; he answers, that he is most 
ready to obey his highness's orders ; that he is 
most anxious to come and kiss the fringe of his 
sofa, but that his troops, having arrears owing them 
by the Porte, retain him as a hostage, and the 
castle as a pledge ; that he is daily in danger of 
violence at their hands, and entreats and implores 
the Pasha to send the money that is owing, for 

tat otherwise he cannot answer for the conse- 
mences, nor for his own life. And this was often 

lid with truth. In fact, the Albanians would 
lardly commence by positive opposition, without 


some justifiable grounds. Here, too, lies the 
strength of the Porte — a moral strength, which, if 
properly wielded, laughs at numbers and at arms ; 
but therefore does all depend on the intelligence 
that directs. This, too, in a more practical and 
commonplace point of view, gives the Porte the 
immense advantage of choosing the moment of 
action and the point of attack ; and, without pro- 
ceeding to open hostilities, by satisfying claims and 
liquidating arrears, it can obtain the evacuation 
and possession of places of strength and im- 
portance. Thus, the Albanians may be enclosed in 
their mountains, which is, as I have above said, 
but a preliminary step to the approaching struggle, 
should Arslan Bey be beaten, and the war carried 
into Albania. 

If, however, Arslan Bey, after being declared 
a Firmanli, maintains his ground, blood having 
been spilt, the fortresses will be held without 
scruple, and pay and provisions will be exacted 
from the peasantry. The want or incapacity of 
a chief would then alone prevent them from carry- 
ing their ravages elsewhere, and raising, in earnest, 
a standard of revolt, before which the sixty horse- 
tails of Roumeli might be humbled in the dust. 

The Albanians feel the precariousness and dan- 
gers of their position, though they despise their 
enemies, and are convinced that their numbers 
and warlike vigour would assure them an easy 
victory, if they could be properly directed ; but 


they want confidence in each other, and they want 
a leader. In this dilemma, their eyes are turned 
towards the Pasha of Scodra. The independence 
of the Ghegues (or northern Albanians, subject to 
the Pasha of Scodra) has ever been more complete 
than that of the Albanians ; they are united, too, 
under one head ; are equally warlike, but a more 
stubborn race, who have not been accustomed to 
take service among the Turks. " They unite," 
says Colonel Leake, " the cruelty of the Albanian 
to the patience of the Bulgarian." Rich in terri- 
torial possessions, with an equal distribution of 
substance, they care as little for the spiritual as 
for the temporal authority of the Sultan. The 
spirit of Scanderbeg may have but scantily de- 
scended on his successors, but the geographical 
positions and military strength that made Croia (a 
dependency of Scodra) the centre of a momentary 
empire, still exists, and Scodra is now, as it has 
ever been, the capital and the pride of Albania. 
The dispositions, then, of Mustapha Pasha are all 
important, but, as yet, they are enveloped in mys- 
tery. The Albanians affirm that he is in perfect 
intelligence with them ; nor is it likely that, owing, 
as he does, his Pashalik to a victory of his grand- 
father over the Sultan's troops, he should like 
to see the Albanians forming a part of the standing 
army of the Porte. 

The positions occupied by the partisans of the 
Grand Vizir are as follow : the plains of Thessaly, 


by Mahmoud Pasha, a Circassian, and protege of 
the Grand Vizir, a man devoted to him, of great 
personal courage, Persian address, dignified man- 
ner, and said to possess great ability ; Janina, the 
Plain of Arta, and the communication by sea of 
Prevesa and the Gulf, by Veli Bey, a dependent 
of the Grand Vizir, bound to him by domestic 
ties, equivalent to those of blood. For an Al- 
banian, Veli Bey is a man of letters ; and, though 
not exempt from the vices of his country, nor un- 
sullied by the crimes of his times and station, yet I 
should think it very difficult to find amongst his 
compeers his intelligence or extended views, or the 
talents that have raised him to, and maintained 
him in, his precarious elevation. The important 
pass of Mezzovo is confided to the ability and 
devotion of a worthy veteran Gencha aga. 

The Albanians — I mean the hostile party — are 
in strength to the north of a line drawn north-east 
from the shore, opposite Corfu, to the Pindus ; to 
the west of an undulating line which, from the vi- 
cinity of Castoria, encircles the central group of 
the Albanian mountains, leaving Monastir to the 
east. On the north of this tract, the Ghegues, the 
Mirdites, the Bosniacs, and Servians, secure the 
insurgents from attack, even if they do not afford 
them the powerful assistance now expected. 

To the south of the Albanians, the mountains 
of Chimara, Paramithea ; to the east, the central 
chain of the Pindus, and the Pierian mountains, are 


occupied by twenty thousand armed Greeks, Arma- 
toles, who now stand between the contending 
parties, and may cause to preponderate the scale 
into which they throw their weight ; but they are 
geographically dispersed, without common motives, 
or a chief. 

The centre of the Grand Vizir's operation is 
Monastir. This position, not defensible as an insu- 
lated point, is most important, as at once the civil, 
the political, and the military centre of Albania. 
Its military strength consists in the surrounding 
passes and fortresses, which draw closer and closer 
circles of defence against every approach ; while, 
from this point, the plains of Albania are open on 
one side, and of Macedonia on the other. Thes- 
saly and Epirus are equally accessible. From 
Monastir, it is easy to intercept the communication 
between Albania and Scodra. Concentrating the 
communications of the surrounding country, this 
position is no less available for receiving supplies 
from Constantinople, and for collecting the con- 
tingents of Roumelie, than for directing operations 
against Albania, and for overawing the Pasha of 

I have spoken of Veli Bey as commanding at 
Janina ; but the nominal authoritv belongs to Emin 
Pasha, son of the Grand Vizir, who had been sent, 
the year before, to Monastir, to keep up communi- 
cations with the Sultan's party in the south, but 
without venturing into the country. A secretary 


of his, a young Greek, by all accounts of consider- 
able ability and extended views, but, being edu- 
cated in Europe, little acquainted with the nature 
of the people with whom he had to deal, was 
received at Janina, then in the possession of Se- 
lictar Poda, with every demonstration of submission 
and respect. He was assured, by that crafty disciple 
of old Ali Pasha, that he was ready to obey, and 
proud to submit to the orders of his master's son ; 
that he rejoiced in the opportunity of proving his 
allegiance, and refuting the calumny that would 
make him the enemy of the Grand Vizir, because 
he was the enemy of his unworthy favourite, Veli 
Bey. The secretary despatched letter after letter 
to his master, entreating him, by his presence, to 
secure these favourable dispositions ; and the 
youthful Pasha, dazzled with the prospect of re- 
ducing both factions of Albania to submission 
before he could receive an answer from his father, 
then engaged in the Russian campaign, hastened to 
Janina, was received with unbounded devotion, 
carried in triumph to the palace of Ali Pasha, 
within the castle, which had been prepared for 
his reception, and found himself a captive and a 
hostage. Veli Bey, indignant, of course, at the 
insult offered to his master's son, sought and found 
the means of expelling the adverse party ; arrived, 
triumphant, at Janina, to deliver his adopted bro- 
ther from his unworthy thraldom, and transfer the 
prize to himself. 


Such was the state of parties at our entrance 
into Albania, which coincided with the expedition 
of Mahmoud Pasha against Arslan Bey, the de- 
parture of the Grand Vizir's first troops from 
Adrianople, and an attempt, by negotiation, to 
gain possession of the most important fortress to 
the north, which shewed the extraordinary justice 
of the Grand Vizir's coup cVceil, and was attended 
with his usual success. The value of the acqui- 
sition to which I allude, the fortress of Berat, can 
best be illustrated by a comparison of the position 
of the two parties in the war of Ali Pasha, and at 
the present moment. 

Though Ali Pasha possessed the fortresses of 
Gortcha, Castoria, and Ochrida, and the surround- 
ing mountains, yet Monastir, for five years previous 
to his fall, had been in the hands of the Roumelie 
Valissy, who had succeeded him in that office, and 
who was devoted to the Porte. Thus, to the Porte 
the value of that position was neutralised by Ali 
Pasha's possession of the surrounding country, in 
which he again was not secure, by the enemy's 
lodgment in Monastir. In the present struggle, 
the importance of Monastir will equally depend on 
the reduction of Ochrida. 

In the former war, the attack upon Albania 
was simultaneously made from three different 
points. An army, under Pechlevan, penetrating 
through Thermopylae, and, ravaging Phocis, Doris, 
Locris, and Etolia, fell upon Acarnania, and, leaving 


Prevesa blockaded by the Turkish squadron, occu- 
pied, without resistance, the Pente-Pigadia, at the 
moment that Ismael Pasha had but shewn himself 
on the Thessalian passes of the Pindus, to receive 
the submission of Omer Vrioni and Moustas, with 
twelve thousand Albanians and Greek Armatoles, 
the strength and the trust of Ali Pasha; a force 
which would have amply sufficed for the defence of 
the eastern and southern passes of Albania against 
any force of the Sultan's, had they been attached, 
by interest or inclination, to the cause of the 
Vizir. The third army was that of young Mus- 
tapha Pasha of Scodra, who had assembled his 
Ghegues and Mirdites, occupied Tyranna, Elbassan, 
and Cavalla, and had already reached Berat, when 
the news of an incursion of the Montenegrins, sup- 
posed in consequence of the intrigues of Russia, 
into his Pashalik, was gladly seized by him as a 
pretence for returning ; for, however rejoiced he 
might be at the humbling of so dangerous a 
neighbour, he would have been very sorry to con- 
tribute to his total overthrow ; still he wrote to 
Ismael Pasha, urging him to occupy the cham- 
paign country of Middle Albania ; and, shortly 
afterwards, the Roumeli Valissi commenced ope- 
rations from the strong positions he occupied 
against Mouchtar Pasha, who held Berat ; and, in 
this, if not assisted, at least was neither menaced 
nor incommoded by the Ghegues. Yet, after the 
loss of all these positions, after the defection of his 


troops and his sons, Ali Pasha, but for treachery, 
would at last have been conqueror. 

In the present contest, the independence of 
Greece guarantees the Albanians from attack from 
the south. The dispositions of the Pasha of 
Scodra, to all appearance, not only protect them 
from open aggression on his part, but close to the 
Grand Vizir the strong barriers that stretch from 
Ochrida to the passes of Catchanic and the Bosnian 
mountains ; but, as Janina is already in the hands 
of the party of the Sadrazem, and as, besides 
Janina and Scodra, there is no position, combining 
at once military strength, territorial riches, and a 
succession of lines of military defence, I should be 
inclined to think that, unless the Pasha of Scodra 
places himself at the head of the league, a central 
point of communication will be as fatal a want to 
them as that of an efficient leader. 

The Grand Vizir, therefore, having only the 
means of penetrating into Albania by Monastir or 
Mezzova, it is all-important to him, as he is already 
in possession of Janina, to carry his point as far 
north as possible, to strengthen Monastir by the 
acquisition of the surrounding positions, to reach 
the plains of Tyranna, Croia, and Berat, where his 
cavalry could act, so as to interpose himself be- 
tween the Albanians and the Ghegues, while he 
takes the Albanians in the rear, and cuts them off 
from the plains and the sea. 


These preliminary observations will render in- 
telligible the events I have now to relate. 

While we were congratulating ourselves in not 
having been deterred, by the fears of our friends 
in Greece and Roumeli, from entering Albania, 
and in being so fortunate as to arrive at the very 
moment of the explosion, a Greek captain, a re- 
lative of the Consul's wife, entered our apartment, 
and told us that he had just arrived from Berat, 
and that there the first scene of the tragedy had 
been enacted. "At- Berat!" we exclaimed.' Our 
previous impressions were confirmed by this single 
word, which declared at once the dispositions of 
Mustapha Pasha, the apprehensions of the Grand 
Vizir, the plan of his campaign, and the depth of 
his views. 

The castle was held by a relative of Selictar 
Podas, with a garrison of five hundred Albanians. 
The Grand Vizir's Meuchardar (seal-bearer) had 
presented himself before the gates, and summoned 
it to surrender. The Commander answered, that 
his men would not allow him to give it up till their 
arrears were paid. The Meuchardar answered, 
" Perfectly right ; " requested to be made ac- 
quainted with their claims, examined the accounts, 
struck the balance, then repaired to Scodra, and 
received from the Pasha, it was said, 800 purses, 
about 6400/ v with which he returned, and displayed 
the money before the walls. The Albanians were 


now in a sad dilemma. They had no orders, they 
knew not to whom to look for any ; they knew not 
the dispositions of their compatriots; they feared 
committing their cause, or compromising them- 
selves ; and they were, above all, perplexed by the 
unaccountable intelligence which seemed to exist 
between the Pasha of Scodra and the Grand Vizir. 
The Commander went mad ; whether the derange- 
ment was real or feigned, is immaterial ; it served 
for a pretext for delaying the surrender of the 
castle, and it shewed, evidently, that the Sultan's 
name, and the Grand Vizir's ability, were yet a 
tower of strength. The brother of the Commander, 
who succeeded him, professed entire ignorance of 
the state of the accounts, and refused to give up 
the fortress ; but there was little doubt but that 
the Grand Vizir's agent was, by this time, in 
possession of it. 

The Meuchardar Effendi had been received 
with apparent submission by the Beys of Berat 
(the castle is on a rock, beneath which, and 
on either bank of the Beratino, extends the town), 
but they seemed inclined to traverse all his plans, 
and little disposed to afford him the assistance and 
support he required. A public assembly was held, 
in which he indignantly reproached them with 
their want of spirit, and told them that he had 
very little to say to them, only this : " that if they 
were Jews, they might at once renounce their 
faith ; that if they were Mussulmans, they owed 


obedience to the Sultan and his Vizir." " What ! " 
said Souleman Pasha, " are the Odjacks of Albania 
to submit to the dictation of a stranger ? Are you, 
because the slave of the Vizir, to speak to your 
betters with insolence ? Are you, or am I, Odjack 
here ?" " Did you get no schooling," replied the 
Meuchardar, " in the dungeons of Ali Pasha ? Has 
the Balta, suspended over your head, not sharp- 
ened your eyesight ? Have the 500,000 piastres 
revenue, which the Sadrazem has restored to you, 
given you neither sense nor gratitude ? You ask, 
whether you or I am Odjack here ? You are 
Odjack,* and I will tell you what that is — two 
upright stones, with burning wood between them ; 
but the master's foot is close by ; one kick over- 
turns stones and fire, and nothing remains but 
smoke and ashes." The refractory Odjack was 
silenced, and all professed their readiness to co- 
operate in the reduction of the castle. 

Our informant had, in two days' march, counted 
fifty dead bodies along the road. Even between 
this place and Pente-Pigadia, four tambours, or 
posts, are not sufficient to secure the road ; and, 
within the last few days, two parties have been 
attacked, and several men shot. 

* Odjack, which means a fire-place, is the designation as- 
sumed by the Albanian, and other chiefs of substance and 







The river of Arta, opening from the hills, is met 
by a prolonged sandstone ridge, running north and 
south. The river bends back, and encircles its 
northern extremity, skirts it on the western side, 
then runs southward to the Gulf. On the low 
point of this ridge, to the north, stands the castle, 
a long and narrow structure, with lofty towers, of 
all forms and dimensions, over them ; and over the 
wall the ivy rambles, fills up the embrasures, and 
even clusters round the muzzles of the few harm- 
less guns. Storks, the only visible occupants, stand 
sentry on the towers, or solemnly pace the battle- 
ments, undisturbed by the flocks of crows, with 
gray crops and bright green plumage, that croak 
and flutter around them. This structure is ren- 
dered quite Eastern and allegorical, by a ruined 
tow T er, that rises above the others, bearing aloft a 
date-tree, which waves " the banner of the clime," 
beside a tall dark cypress, the dismal telegraph of 
the times. Behind the castle, but still on the low 

I vol. i. o 


ground, are spread the ruins rather than the town, 
remarkable for the number of the arcades, arches, 
and built columns, still standing amongst them. 
The ancient circumference of the walls embrace 
four times the extent of the present town : they 
are of old Hellenic construction, but, on the east- 
ern side, the structure is perfectly unique. The 
stones are joined with the greatest precision, the 
surface hewn perfectly smooth, the layers exactly 
parallel, but the stones not always rectangular. 
The first layer is of five feet, and the stones are 
some of them six, seven, and nine feet in length, 
and four in width : we found one eight feet by ten 
and a half, and four in thickness. 

The church of Parygoritza is a large square 
building of brick and mortar, with well-turned 
arches and good masonry. It contains marble and 
granite columns, taken from Nicopolis. Its ex- 
ternal appearance is strange and curious, and, as 
we approached Arta, it looked like a palace. At 
Barletta, and in other parts of Apulia, there are 
similar churches, which are erroneously termed 
Gothic, or Lombard. The Albanians had been 
bivouacking in the church, and defacing the little 
that remained. We found the inscription, so mag- 
niloquently announced by Pouqueville : we could 
scarcely make out three letters together ; but this 
we could satisfactorily ascertain, that there was 
scarcely a single letter in his copy correspond- 
ing with the original. We were not the less 


provoked for having made out AIIOAA HPAK 

Close to the castle is a kind of open mosque, 
where the first day of Bairam is celebrated. Close 
to the raised steps for the Imaum, a cypress grows 
out of the trunk of another tree, the name of 
which, both in Greek and Albanian, I have for- 
gotten ; but it is the emblematic tree of Albania ; 
has a small, oval, serrated, and glossy leaf, hard 
wood, and I was told it bore a small berry, which 
they eat in winter. 

On the 23d we left Arta, recrossed the bridge, 
then, turning to the right, soon reached the low 
limestone hills, which are a continuation of that 
above Arta. For an hour we skirted their base, 
having on our left a marsh, and, beyond, the plain. 
Ali Pasha's road runs on the rocky base of the 
hills, or on a causeway, over and through the 
marsh. Under, and sometimes over, this cause- 
way, clear and abundant streams of water gush 
from the perpendicular fissures of the limestone. 
This marsh had been drained in a scientific man- 
ner, under Ali Pasha. A deep canal collected the 
waters at their source, and, carrying them first 
northward, then, turning to the west, crossed the 
plain, and discharged them into the river of Rogous. 
Ali Pasha was in the habit of ascending this canal 
in his boat. At an hour and a half from Arta we 
came to the first guard-house, on a projecting 

Iock between the hill and the marsh. After an- 
o 2 


other hour, through a low valley, where the heat 
was suffocating, we arrived at a ruined Khan. 

The scenery had the worst characters of lime- 
stone country : the hills were lofty, without grand- 
eur or variety ; they were rude, without boldness ; 
or tame, without richness or beauty. The pre- 
cipices and asperities are rounded and obliterated ; 
but the wildness thus lost is replaced neither by 
forests nor verdure, fountains nor shade. But I 
speak as a prejudiced person, for I candidly con- 
fess I dislike limestone rocks ; and was once 
moved to most sudden and sympathetic friendship 
for a Turkish proprietor, who told me he liked to 
pay dear for the carriage of his lime. 

In an hour and a half more, we came to the 
third guard, where a fat, jocose, old, and dirty 
captain, seated on a ragged sofa, in a tottering 
hovel, did us the honours, with coffee, milk, 
cheese, and butter-milk, and begged us to excuse 
him, as he was in the wilderness, and could treat 
us neither as we deserved, nor as he desired. He 
told us that his men had stumbled on a ruin in the 
mountains hard by ; but we were not now in 
Acarnania, and could not think of venturing off 
the road. We had already been often enough 
chid by our guards, who declared they would not 
be responsible for us, unless we kept the place and 
pace they prescribed. Two hours and a half 
brought us to Pente-pigadia, which is a castle, or a 
Khan, enclosed with high walls, overtopped by a 


Martello tower, and placed in a gorge at the 
highest part of the chain looking towards the 
north. A rapid descent brought us to a little 
plain, whence we again had to ascend the hills. 
The rocks are limestone (which slits almost like 
slate), aluminous schist, and sandstone. The 
country now suddenly opened to the left, and 
descended in successive levels to the deep bed of 
the river of Rogous, which was hidden from our 
view. We could trace, however, its course, till 
met by the barrier of the mountains of Pente- 
pigadia, through which it disappears by a sub- 
terraneous channel. The hills of the theatre 
around (no longer limestone), presented a scaffold- 
ing of terraces, with vines, fields, and villages ; and 
above them rose the bleak gray peaks of the 
Metzekali. Descending from this last elevation, 
we entered a narrow plain, which, winding and 
extending as we advanced, spread an undulating 
surface around us, without a tree, a house, or even 
a ruin, to recall the richness of this same scenery 
ten years ago. The only striking feature in the 
landscape was a wall-like chain of lofty mountains 
diagonally crossing the direction of our road, and 
which we knew to rise behind the long-looked-for 
lake of Janina. At length, we reached the sum- 
mit of the last undulation, and, at last, looked 
down on the lake, the island, the ruined fortresses, 
and prostrate city ! 

Here is the centre of all the associations con- 


nected with the events of this country, with the 
history of the various populations of Souli, Acar- 
nania, Epirus, Illyria, and even Thessaly and the 
Morea. This is the Manchester and Paris of 
Roumeli. It was the capital of the ephemeral 
empire of Ali Pasha ; it was the arena of his last 
protracted and desperate struggle. To him, and to 
that epoch, it was that our thoughts incessantly 
reverted as we looked upon it now, and we anx- 
iously inquired where the beleaguring hosts had 
encamped, where the flotilla had lain, and listened 
with untired curiosity and renewed gratification, to 
each soldier's and peasant's description of events 
which, in their time, have excited, even in Europe, 
such dramatic interest. 

The place is now a scene of complete de- 
vastation ; the only distinction is between the 
wrecks of nine years and the catastrophe of yes- 
terday. During that long period of unceasing 
destruction, faction, and anarchy, the accumulation 
of ruin, and the flow of tears and blood, may have 
won for Janina a name in the annals of misery, 
equal to that of Carthage or Syracuse. But here 
no mutilated statues, no fractured columns, no 
prostrate temples nor pillared precipices, woo the 
pilgrim of taste to the shrine of desolation. Mas- 
sive dungeons, tottering battlements, gaudy shreds 
of barbarian splendour, alone encumber the banks 
of the Acheron, and leave the stranger to marvel 
how a race, known only for its genius for de- 


struction, could have afforded aught for others to 
destroy, or had the merit to awaken foreign sym- 
pathy by its ruin. 

On arriving at Janina, we went straight to the 
conak of Veli Bey, from whom we met with a most 
cordial reception. His appearance and train were 
in the first style of Skipetar magnificence ; his man- 
ners prepossessing, and air dignified. His house, 
he said, should have been ours, but he feared that 
there we might be disturbed, and he had therefore 
given directions for our reception at the only new 
and good house in the place : the Dragoman of 
the Grand Vizir should be our host. 

We were exceedingly pleased with this ar- 
rangement, and had every reason to be so. We 
intended making Janina our head -quarters for 
some time ; and it was no small matter to be so 
established. Alexis, the Dragoman, we understood, 
was a man highly respected by the Turks, and as he 
had been constantly attached to the Grand Vizir 
for the last five or six years, and had accompanied 
him during the wars in Greece, we promised to 
ourselves no little instruction from his society. 
During the month that we were his guests, the 
unceasing attentions, not only of our host and 
hostess, but of every branch of their family, would 
have rendered it difficult to quit a less interesting 
place than Janina. His wife was of one of the first, 
if not the first, family of Janina. Under Ali Pasha, 
their house had generally been the abode of Eng- 


lish travellers ; and I think both Dr. Holland and 
Mr. Hughes speak highly of the venerable and ex- 
cellent old man, Dimitri Athanasiou, uncle to our 
hostess; who, though not, strictly speaking, a 
beauty, was a pretty lady-like person, and with 
all the style and manners of a leader of ton in 
the centre of Greek and Albanian fashion. Not- 
withstanding all her amiable qualities, I fear that, 
in London, she would not have escaped the damn- 
ing character of a blue. She presumed to admire 
Sophocles as well as Alfieri. Her dress was'in the 
style called Chami, or lower Albanian ; which, 
when arranged by the artistes of Janina, is, for 
composition and colour, the most perfect thing in 
the way of costume I ever saw ; and is indebted for 
effect neither to pearls and precious stones, nor to 
the false glare of gold and silver lace, or of gaudy 
and contrasted colours. The inner garments are 
of silk, or silk and cotton, closely striped, or of chali 
of delicate tints. The outer garment, which gives 
the costume its characteristic beauty, is of cloth 
of a light but not a lively colour, such as fawn, 
drab 3 or stone, and beautifully embroidered with 
small round silk braid, generally of the same tint, 
but a shade lighter or darker than the cloth. 
Now that Turkish embroidery is so much the 
fashion, this hint will not, I hope, be thrown away, 
for nothing can be more un-Turkish than the mix- 
ture of all discords of colour, that one sees, as our 
neighbours say, " swearing at each other," under 


ladies' fingers. This outer garment has no sleeves, 
fits like a cuirass to the form, especially round the 
celnture behind, and then spreads into flowing 
skirts. On the back, and on the waist at either 
side, the embroidery is most elaborate. 

Art assists nature less than with us, in setting 
off the contour of Eastern belles. Their costume 
can neither conceal nor disguise faults and im- 
perfections. Many circumstances tend, in the 
East, to give a great variety to character, phy- 
siognomy, and, consequently, to beauty. Races 
are kept distinct from each other ; populations are 
fixed to localities ; and great changes of atmos- 
phere, variations of climate, and exposure, act 
upon physical constitutions, which seem more 
delicate and more susceptible of these influences 
than the inhabitants of northern regions, which, by 
their geographical structure, are exposed less to 
atmospheric change. In the fair sex these varia- 
tions must be more sensible than in the firmer 
constitutions of the men ; and beauty, in some 
parts of the country, is as rife as it is rare in 
others. We may be, very naturally, inclined to 
overrate Eastern beauty ; the difficulty of approach, 
the sanctity of the harem, envelope with new 
charms the goddess that delights in mystery. 
The female form is never seen, save in deep shade, 
shrouded by veils, or screened by lattices. It is 
never vulgarised by robust exercise, never tinted 
by exposure to the sun. The distinguishing 


charms of the East are a most beautiftil skin and 
clear complexion, large, full, vivid, and intellectual 
eyes, and a marble forehead. 

" Heart on her lips, and soul within her eyes ; 
Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies," 

may be said of all women, and is said of every 
mistress, and would be repeated with equal fervour 
by a wooer of New York, or a swain of Abydos. 
But the exquisitely striking, the contrasting 
character of Eastern beauty, is the eye ;' it can 
only be described, and that description cannot be 
surpassed, by the comparison of the Persian, who 
must have felt its nearer inspiration when he 
likens his Eastern mistress's eye to a " starry 
heaven, bright and dark."* 

The fortress of Janina offers an irregular out- 
line of dismantled battlements, crowned by the 
shapeless remains of the ruined Serai : behind it, 
some of the loftier points of the Coulia and Lith- 
aritzi appear, overtopping the enormous cairns of 

* It may be doubtful whether Byron's 

" Like the light of a dark eye in woman " 

be a plagiarism or not ; but, at all events, the celebrated lines 
on Kirke White — 

" Lo ! the struck eagle stretched upon the plain," &c. 

are almost a verbal translation from the Persian, and are far 
from equalling the original. 


their own wreck. The Coulia was a fortress of 
five stories, with a palace of two stories on the top 
of it. The thick masses of masonry, the solid 
pilasters and arches of hewn stone, that, rising one 
above the other, support the structure, or, rather, 
keep the space open, and appear like caves in a moun- 
tain, had internally suffered but little from either 
fire or shot. The palace above had disappeared, 
and, in wandering over the Egyptian-like pile, we 
found Albanians at work, wrenching out the stones 
to extract the cramps and bars of iron that secured 
the lower works. The Coulia communicated with 
the lake by a little canal. Ali Pasha used to 
enter with his boat, then step into a small car- 
riage, drawn by mules, which, rolling up an in- 
clined plane, round a large staircase, landed him, 
a hundred feet above, at the door of his Serai. 
There is but the interval of a few yards between 
this building and the Litharitzi, the first fortress 
he constructed. Its upper part alone has been 
destroyed during the siege. So important, in 
Turkish warfare, is the advantage of ground, that 
this place, defended by 150 men, was stormed in 
vain by 18,000, who are said to have left an 
incredible number at its base. The true secret of 
the defence, perhaps, is, that the chiefs of the 
besiegers were as little inclined as the defenders, 
that the treasures within should be placed at the 
mercy of the storming horde. 

The day after our arrival, we went to pay 


our visit, and present our letters and firman, to 
Emin Pasha Sadrazem Zade, that is, son of the 
Grand Vizir. We were left waiting for some time 
without : the haughty Odjacks, with their sweeping 
trains, were passing in and out ; and the stare of 
retainers, strangers, and attendants, became so 
annoying, that, at length, we left the place in 
disgust; but, in getting home, we lost our way, 
and found messengers already arrived from the 
palace. We felt very little inclined to return ; 
but the messengers protested, that their heads or 
backs would answer for our appearance, and put 
us in good humour by the mode they took to 
prove to us the Pasha's regard, who, they said, 
was so anxious to see us, that, unless we came 
voluntarily, he would have us carried by force. 
On our way back, we met messenger after mes- 
senger ; and we were reconducted with an ovation, 
which made up for the scowl the menials had 
cast upon us in our retreat. We were led through 
the divan, from which the Pasha had retired ; 
then through a labyrinth of rooms, passages, and 
stairs, and hedges of capidgis and guards, to a 
small remote apartment, where the young Pasha, 
attired in a most splendid Albanian costume, re- 
ceived us in a very courteous, and, as it was 
intended, friendly and unceremonious manner. 

The Sadrazem Zade is a handsome and elegant 
youth of nineteen, very inquisitive about Europe : 
he occupies a still, habitable portion of the palace 


of AH Pasha, whose Tourbe or tomb, in a cage of 
iron filigree-work, stands in a corner of the court, 
or square, before it. His head alone is buried at 

Before the gates of the fortress, a coffee-house 
was pointed out to us, where AH Pasha had taken 
his stand, when, on the approach of the Sultan's 
forces, the Albanians within the fortress closed the 
gates against their master, with a sudden resolution, 
but without preconcerted plan, of making their 
own peace with the Porte. AH Pasha, who had 
been reconnoitring, found, to his amazement, the 
gates closed on his return : he entered this coffee- 
house, which was close to the ditch, and a parley 
soon ensued betwixt him and the Albanians on the 
w r alls ; and, after cajoling them with assurances 
that his peace was made with the Porte, and that 
the march of Ismael Pasha was only a feint, their 
resolution wavered, and some of them unbarred 
the gates. No sooner was he within than his 
repressed fury broke forth ; the most faithful of 
his men were rewarded, and the doubtful attached 
by the immediate plunder of the city, which, when 
only half plundered, was fired ; and, when fire was 
not sufficiently destructive, shot and shell levelled 
to the ground every thing within their range. A 
population of thirty thousand souls were thus 
scattered in the most perfect state of destitution ; 
the plain to the north of the city was filled 
with fugitives, of all stations and ages — mothers 


carrying their children, others endeavouring to 
save some wrecks of their property — many pe- 
rished from want, and the rest were scattered far 
and near from Corfu to Constantinople. 

Janina is the centre both of art and of fashion, 
and fits all the beaux of Roumeli. The silk 
braid and gold lace, so universally used in Eastern 
costume, are most extensively prepared by its 
Jews. The Morocco leather of Janina is in highest 
repute, and also extensively manufactured. The 
savat, or blackening of silver, their mode tff orna- 
menting guns, drinking cups, cartridge boxes, and the 
buckles that they wear, and which ornament their 
trapping, is an art almost exclusively exercised by 
a settlement of Vlachi at Calarites. In their vici- 
nity grow the herbs they use for dying, which is 
here a domestic art. Every house has its looms, 
where the women, as in the patriarchal ages, 
employ their leisure in weaving, according to their 
wealth, coarse or fine cotton stuffs, and that beauti- 
ful and delicate texture of silk and cotton gauze, or 
of silk alone, which they use for shirting. They 
are no less celebrated for their skill in confec- 
tionary ; and the preserves of Janina are as much 
distinguished as those of Scotland. Elsewhere 
women may be as laborious, or as industrious ; but 
I never saw so much activity combined with so 
much elegance as at Janina, or housewifery assume 
such important functions. To the most sedulous 
attention to all the business of domestic economy 


were added the rearing of the silk-worms, the 
winding of silk, the preparing of cotton, the dying 
and the weaving of these materials, and the pre- 
paration from them of every article of wearing 
apparel or household furniture. 

Their tailors are no less characterised by taste 
and dexterity ; and the costumes of the men by 
the elegance of the cut, the arrangement of 
colours, and excellence of workmanship. What 
a contrast the artizans of this clear sky present 
with ours I Sudden disasters may fall upon them ; 
but no industry falsely bolstered up leaves them 
a prey to incessant fluctuations. Money may, at 
times, be extorted from them by violence ; but they 
have not the irritating example before their eyes 
of injustice of taxation, which spares the rich and 
oppresses the poor.* They tend their silk-worms, 
prepare their dyes, weave their delicate tissues 
and rich laces, and embroider their fermelis and 
zuluchia, not by smoky firesides, but under shady 
vines ; and instead of becoming callous and in- 
different under the unfortunate insecurity of the 
times, they exert themselves the more to avert 

* No hatred can be there conceived between master and 
workman, no combination, no strikes : taxes fall in a mass on 
the district ; therefore, each individual constantly feels that he 
is interested in every neighbour's prosperity. The excellence 
of the principle prevents all difference of political opinion ; the 
working of the system unites all classes, and maintains sympathy 
and good-will between man and man. 


or to meet danger and oppression. This appears 
most unaccountable to Europeans, who are ac- 
quainted with oppression and its effects only by 
examples of systematic despotism ; but the differ- 
ence between the tyranny of man and the tyranny 
of law is one of the most instructive lessons the 
East has to teach. The one is uncertain, and 
leaves to the oppressed chances and hopes of 
escaping it ; it varies with the individual ; and 
those who suffer, if not benefited, are, at least, 
consoled by the vengeance that, sooner o'r later, 
overtakes the guilty. The tyranny of law is a 
dead and immovable weight, that compresses at 
once the activity of the limb and the energy of 
the mind ; leaves no hope of redress, no chance 
of escape ; is liable to no responsibility for its acts, 
or vengeance for its crimes. For fifty years, in 
Turkey, convulsion has followed convulsion as wave 
rolls after wave ; and Europe, judging by its own 
cumbersomeness of machinery, and consequent diffi- 
culty of readjustment, has looked on each succeed- 
ing disaster as a prelude to the fall of the Ottoman 
empire. Turkey's political state may be com- 
pared to its climate : an unexpected hurricane 
in a moment wastes fields and forests, covers 
the heavens with blackness, and the sea with 
foam. Scarcely is the devastation completed, when 
nature revives, the air is all mildness, and the 
heavens all sunshine. As destructively and as 
suddenly do political storms and military gather- 


ings overwhelm the provinces; and no sooner 
are they past, than industry is busy preparing 
her toil, and security is scattering seed, or wreath- 
ing flowers. 

Emin Pasha had placed at our disposal his 
boat, the only one saved from the flotillas of Ali 
Pasha, and of his adversaries ; there are, however, 
a great many monoxyla on the lake. There is 
abundance and variety of water-fowl ; and one of 
our friends, a great sportsman, was anxious to 
shew us how they manage these matters at Janina, 
but the disturbed state of affairs prevented us from 
seeing a regular duck-hunt. It is conducted in 
this manner : thirty or forty monoxyla, with a 
sportsman in each, and covered with boughs that 
hang into the water, form an extensive circle, 
which, gradually narrowing, drives the fowl to a 
centre. As the monoxyla approach them, they 
dive, or rise ; the sportsman who raises a bird fires, 
or the opposite line fires if it attempt to pass ; but 
the alarm is not general; they do not rise all 
together, as the circle is not drawn very close : 
thus the sport continues long, and generally there 
is great havoc made. 

The first object of our curiosity was, of course, 
the island, and its little monastery, where was 
concluded the tragedy of Ali Pasha's life. With 
no little interest did we visit the mean chamber in 
which he expired ; the dirty little kitchen, wiiich was 
Vasiliki's harem ; the grotto, where his remaining 

vol. i. p 


wealth was concealed. We examined the bullet- 
holes through the floor, and listened, in the midst of 
the undisturbed witnesses of his death, to the details 
of the destruction of a tyrant, whose memory has 
been consecrated by the crimes of his successors. 
Courchid Pasha, bringing his pretended pardon, 
landed close to the monastery, and entered by a 
small passage under the chamber occupied by Ali 
Pasha ; a ladder conducted to a small corridor, 
into which the chamber opened. The court 
within, and the rocks overlooking the courts oppo- 
site the entrance, were occupied by Ali Pasha's 
adherents. Courchid Pasha's train followed him 
to the foot of the ladder, and filled the passage 
below the chamber, and the lane without, to the 
landing-place. The Pasha ascended to the cor- 
ridor, and Ali Pasha came to the room-door to 
meet him. While in the act of embracing, Cour- 
chid Pasha fired a pistol, which was concealed by 
his long sleeve, at Ali's body, and wounded him in 
the arm ; he fell back into the room, shutting the 
door. The Albanians on the rocks feared to fire, 
lest they should hit their own people. A cha?ni,* 
named Flim, celebrated for his unflinching der 
votedness to his master, was lying in the corridor, 
with a fit of the ague ; he was for a moment alone 
with Courchid Pasha, and, starting up, he aimed 
at him a sabre-cut, but his erring blow was arrested 

* Inhabitant of Chamouria. 


by a beam, which still bears its mark. The 
moment Ali Pasha was wounded, he called out to 
his remaining attendant within to shoot Vasiliki ; 
but before the order could be obeyed, a discharge 
from the passage below passed through the floor- 
ing, and a ball entered his bowels. His death 
once known, his adherents had nothing more to 
contend for, they instantly submitted to Courchid 
Pasha, whom their guns had, the moment before, 
only spared for the sake of their sick comrade, 
Flim. Courchid Pasha arrived, effected his mis- 
sion, and retired in less time than it has taken the 
reader to peruse the relation of the event. 

Well may this lake and its streams claim the 
gloomiest names of ancient fable. Cocytus, Styx, 
and Avernus, have no imaged horrors to vie with 
the real atrocities which have left their traces and 
their memory fresh on the scenes around us. 
Each rock, each stream, each patch of earth, has 
its distinctive tale of blood and crime.. As we 
sailed under a rocky projection of the island, — 
" Here," said the captain of the boat, f were thrown, 
pinioned, into the lake, the Cardikiots, confined in 
the castle on the night of the destruction of Car- 
diki." This captain had been twenty-five years in 
the service of Ali Pasha : he commanded his brig 
on the lake, and was present at the destruction of 
Cardiki, which Pouqueville has dramatised. The 
facts were thus: — After some ineffectual resistance 

p 2 



the Cardikiots were brought down to the Khan, in 
the plain where Ali Pasha sat in his carriage ; a 
portion of the population, after being stripped of 
their property, had been sent off to Prevesa ; the 
remainder were brought before him; A secretary- 
took down the name and family of each, and the 
place where his treasures were concealed. Those 
who were not of the race of his former enemies 
were suffered to depart; the remainder, under 100 
men, were sent into the court of the Khan. Masons 
were in attendance, and the door was immediately 
walled up, while the devoted victims stood like 
statues, awaiting their fate in silence, but not in 
suspense. The Mirdites and Ghegs were ordered 
to the rising ground that overlooked the Khan to 
fire on them, — they refused. Athanasi Va'ia, de- 
voted to execration by Pouqueville, for his officious 
services when Ali Pasha was on the point of 
pardoning the Cardikiotes, was not even present ; 
he was collecting their property in one of the vil- 
lages, the name of which I have forgotten ; but 
Zongas, the companion and successor of Catch- 
Antoni, was called upon by Ali Pasha to - shew his 
new fidelity by destroying the Cardikiotes. He 
collected eighty of his vlacks, who commenced the 
work of destruction very reluctantly, but it was 
soon completed by other tribes of Christians and 
Turks that joined them. The revolting details of 
the horrors perpetrated by his sister on the Mus- 


sulman women of Cardiki are but too true ; as 
also that she used to sleep on a raattrass made of 
their hair. 

During the siege the lake must have presented 
a most magnificent spectacle. Ali Pasha had a 
flotilla and a brig ; the Sultan's party had a flotilla 
of twenty-two gun-boats ; the heights were lined 
with tents — the plains covered with cavalry, and 
tribes of all races, from the Caucasus to the Adri- 
atic ; breaching batteries and mortars encircled 
the wide extent of the city. The besiegers plied 
their guns with more assiduity than effect, while 
Ali answered fast and well by 250 mouths from 
the island, the castle, the Koulia, and Litharitza. 
Sixteen months was the siege prolonged, the 
besiegers often in want of ammunition and pro- 
visions, and blockaded in their turn by the Christ- 
ians, whose hopes had been excited, but with 
whom faith had not been kept. Meanwhile, Ali 
Pasha, with well- stored magazines and coffers, and 
commanding his little sea, had fresh provisions 
from the mountains, and fresh fish from the lake. 
How grand must have been the scenes at times 
presented, when the day was clouded, and the 
night illumined, by the crossing fire, on such a 
theatre, of so many points of resistance and 

During our stay the place was pretty tranquil ; 
the troops had been principally sent out of the 
town, and were encamped, to the number of 7000, 


at two and three hours' distance. Selictar Poda 
remained quiet; hut the country, to the north, 
was every day assuming a more hostile and de- 
termined attitude. The troops of Veli Bey dared 
not penetrate above twenty miles among the 
mountains north of the city. We could gain no 
information whatever as to the ulterior objects of 
either party, but were exceedingly anxious to see 
Selictar Poda, and then to visit, if possible, Argyro 
Castro, Tepedelene, Berat, and Monastir. Having 
arrived at Janina without the slightest risk', after 
being assured in Acarnania, by those who seemed 
best acquainted with the state of the country, that 
such a journey would be attended with the great- 
est difficulties and danger; having passed unmo- 
lested through Acarnania, after being assured in 
the Morea that we should certainly have our 
throats cut if we ventured into that distracted 
province, we were now at first inclined to disregard 
the warnings we received, against attempting to 
penetrate further into Albania. We were not long 
in discovering that however certain we were of the 
best protection the chiefs of either party could 
afford, still it was next to impossible for us to pass 
from one party to another, nor could we venture 
even outside the town without a considerable 
guard. In this dilemma we asked counsel from 
Veli Bey : we told him how anxious we were to 
penetrate into Upper Albania; and even frankly 
confessed that we were desirous of seeing Selictar 


Poda; thinking, that by telling him what our 
intentions were, we should save ourselves from the 
possibility of being suspected, and prevent him 
from secretly thwarting our plans, by giving him 
an opportunity of objecting to them directly. He 
urged us to abandon our proposed journey, adding, 
that if we persisted in it, he could have us safely 
conducted as far as the first passes occupied by 
Selictar Poda ; but, said he, " I cannot allow you 
to start without an escort of 200 men." At such 
a moment as this, when men could only with diffi- 
culty be obtained for the most necessary services, 
the mention of such an escort was tantamount to 
a positive refusal. There was clearly nothing now 
to be done but to remain quietly at Janina, or to 
return to Prevesa. 

While we were debating which of these two 
alternatives we should adopt, news were brought 
that Arslan Bey was approaching Janina, and was 
now posted on the heights to the north of Mezzovo, 
with the intention of cutting off the communi- 
cation by Mezzovo with Thessaly; and placing 
himself between Monastir and Janina, he hemmed 
in the plain country on every side, and could 
annoy, blockade, or attack Veli Bey at his own 
convenience. The fortresses of Janina were not 
provisioned ; the population and the soldiers de- 
pended on the corn that was daily arriving from 
Thessaly by Mezzovo; so that the occupation of this 
important position would have probably led to dis- 


turbance among the troops of Veli Bey, and to 
the loss of the city. It was therefore suddenly 
determined that Veli Bey should anticipate him, 
if possible, in occupying the mountains at Milies, 
or, at all events, should be ready to support 
Mezzovo in case of his making an attack upon that 
place. This resolution we learned accidentally, 
and immediately hurried to the palace of the 
Pasha in the castle, where troops and chiefs were 
crowding, and where every thing seemed in the 
greatest disorder, and every indication was'visible 
of a sudden decision, as well as of an unexpected 
movement. Our object was to obtain permission 
to accompany the expedition. 

Veli Bey was too busily engaged to give us an 
opportunity of conversing with him ; we therefore 
desired the Dragoman to repeat to him our request, 
and to bring us his answer. He soon returned, 
and told us that Veli Bey had other things to 
think of, and that he was much surprised at 
amateurs thrusting themselves in where they could 
be of no use, and might give a great deal of 
trouble. This was a dreadful disappointment ; we 
little expected language so severe from Veli Bey ; 
we thought it strange, but, nevertheless, could not 
say it was unjust. We were now deprived, at the 
very moment when the door seemed thus opened, 
of every chance of realising our long and ardent 
hopes of mixing in the events of this land, or even 
of looking further upon its mountains and its 


plains. We had no further chance of seeing Veli 
Bey, or of hoping to soften him ; still we lingered, 
vexed and disappointed, about the spacious court, 
watching the movements, and admiring the ac- 
coutrements, of the various chiefs and their tails, 
which never had the same interest for us before, 
and gazing- upon the preparatives for an expedition 
which had lost all its perils, and preserved only its 
attractions from the moment we found ourselves 
debarred from accompanying it. While in this 
mood, a young Albanian - lad, a relative of Veli 
Bey, came to us and asked us if we should not 
like to accompany the expedition ? we answered, 
that nothing would delight us so much, and asked 
if he would undertake to be our advocate with 
Veli Bey. The request was no sooner made than 
granted, and the young Albanian ran off to catch 
his relative as he was passing from one chamber to 
another. We waited for some time, but with very 
little hope of a favourable result; yet, congratu- 
lating ourselves upon our dexterity in not having 
cooled the ardour of our new advocate by inform- 
ing him of the unfavourable decision to which his 
chief had already come. When he returned, he 
told us that Veli Bey was very much surprised 
with the request, and would not believe that we 
were in earnest, and that he would speak to us 
himself upon the subject. We went to him ; we 
expressed to him, concisely, but earnestly, the 
anxiety we had to become acquainted with Al- 


bania, which had induced us to come so far — the 
pain he would give us if he refused — the gratifica- 
tion we would derive from his permission — the 
chances of benefit from Europeans becoming ac- 
quainted with their country — the tendency of the 
Turkish Government, which could not render 
intercourse with us disadvantageous to him, and 
might have the contrary effect. 

After thinking some time, he said, "Well, if 
you will go, the risk must be on your own heads, 
for I cannot answer for my own ; and if you' do go, 
you must be ready to start to-night." " In ten 
minutes," was our reply. His eye suddenly bright- 
ened, and he looked all round, leisurely, on the 
Beys seated on three sides of the room, and seemed 
to say, " Look at the confidence that strangers 
place in my fortunes and in me." We recollected 
the characters, but did not gather the sense at the 

But what will be said of the interpreter who 
brought us the first pretended message ? It being 
one of the first opportunities I had had of under- 
standing that race, I w r as very much puzzled to 
account for his conduct. He could have no motive 
in deceiving us ; he had hitherto shewn us the 
utmost kindness and hospitality, and it, probably, 
originated in a purely kindly feeling, because, had 
he been unfriendly, he would have been glad to 
have got rid of us ; but here broke out, not the 
man, but the Dragoman, in their habitual control 


over the minds and bodies of those between whom 
they are intermediaries. 

We followed Veli Bey into the divan, to take 
leave of the voung Pasha. We had seen him half 
an hour before, playing at the djereed, an exercise 
in which he displayed the greatest ardour and dex- 
terity. He had now relapsed into the sombre and 
stately Osmanli, and, wrapped in the ample folds 
of Benishes and Harvanis, reclined in the centre of 
the spacious divan that once was Ali Pasha's. He 
was exceedingly surprised at our determination of 
accompanying Veli Bey, and charged him to take 
the greatest care of us. The Bey answered, "On 
my head ! " 

That night the town was all in movement, but 
the Bey's departure was postponed till next morn- 
ing; and, after obtaining his promise that we 
should be duly warned of the hour at which he 
was to set out, we retired to our quarters, to com- 
plete our own preparatives. Next morning we 
were ready to start before the dawn, and waited 
anxiously for a summons to join the Bey. Our 
impatience increasing as the day advanced, we de- 
spatched messenger after messenger, but could 
learn neither when he intended to start, what 
road he intended to take, nor even where he 
actually was ; whether or not he intended to go, 
or was already gone. The intelligence received, 
and the operations about to commence, were alike 
a mystery to us. The most contradictory and 


alarming reports were in circulation : at one time 
the rumour was that Arslan Bey had gained a 
complete victory, had occupied the mountains to 
the north, and even that he had interrupted the 
communications with Triccala ; immediately after- 
wards we heard that he had been completely 
beaten, that he was a fugitive, and ready to submit. 
We remarked that the Albanians spread the ru- 
mours of his success, the Greeks those of his dis- 
comfiture, which, if they were of little value as 
news, were of importance to us, as confirming, in 
our minds, the identity of interest between the 
Sultan's party and the Greeks ; a novel combina- 
tion, as we, coming from Europe and from Greece, 
naturally imagined. The chiefs we knew and could 
fall in with, either knew no more than ourselves, or 
were too busy with their own affairs to attend to 
our questions. In this uncertainty we remained, 
until ikindee, or three o'clock, when we positively 
ascertained that the Bey had started two hours 
before, and had already reached the south-eastern 
extremity of the lake, on his road to Mezzovo. 
We immediately determined on following him ; 
our friends joined to urge upon us arguments and 
entreaties, but, in spite of these, in spite of fresh 
difficulties about our horses, and the impossibility 
of obtaining guards, or even guides, we found our- 
selves, at sunset, just beyond the skirts of the city. 
Our travelling establishment had been gradually 
reduced, and now consisted of but a single attend- 


ant, who had previously been dignified with the 
title of Dragoman, but now had to perform the 
offices of Dragoman, valet, Tartar, and cook. Our 
Surrigee, who was attached to us for the expedi- 
tion, was a savage-looking Ghegue, who could speak 
nothing but his own barbarous tongue, and de- 
voured, on the first evening of our march, the 
whole of the provisions we had taken for two 




The sun, as we have said, was but " one fathom " 
above the western horizon, when, unheeded amid 
the prevailing bustle and confusion, we issued from 
the gate of Janina, secretly rejoicing at the disco- 
very that we could pass unobserved. But, no 
sooner were we in the open plain, than we felt all 
our helplessness. Up to this time we had worn 
European clothes — short jackets and straw hats — 
upon which the natural effects of wear and tear 
had done their worst. Our now single attendant 
wore the same costume, and, amid such a move- 
ment and such excitement, without escort or pro- 
tection, ignorant alike of the language and manners 
of the people, our forebodings were gloomy enough, 
and the figure we cut was rather of the scarecrow 
kind. Our baggage, hastily packed, was constantly 
tumbling off; our wild Ghegue of a postilion, in 
the absence of any civilised means of intercourse, 
exhibited the state of his mind by an almost unin- 
terrupted flow of imprecation, now directed against 
the baggage, now against the horses, and some- 


times against ourselves. Our interpreter consoled 
us, on every tumble of our baggage, by assuring us 
that the breakage of our coffee service, telescope, 
pistols, &c. was of no moment at all, as " our 
throats would certainly be cut before morning." 

An hour after sunset, we, however, arrived at a 
Khan, called Baldouna, four miles from Janina, at 
the eastern extremity of the lake. We were there 
rejoiced to behold a face we knew, Abbas Bey, a 
relative of Veli Bey. We thought our troubles 
and our dangers now over ; but gratification at the 
rencontre did not seem reciprocal. We soon per- 
ceived that, while anxious to appear kind, he was 
much embarrassed at being seen by his country- 
men with two such questionable looking figures 
seated beside him. He left us abruptly, and we 
presently learned that he had removed with his 
people elsewhere. This circumstance deeply af- 
fected us. There is a sense of loneliness in the 
world, a coldness that comes over the heart, when 
you feel yourself despised and avoided, that curdles 
the feelings, and jars upon the nerves ; then do 
dangers and sufferings, in their worst forms, seem 
enviable, if blessed with the companionship of our 
fellow men. 

Our friends at Janina had prepared a well- 
appointed wallet. We thought the time had ar- 
rived when such appliances might give a little 
distraction to our thoughts, and vigour to our phi- 
losophy. But, alas ! while we had been discussing 


public affairs, our single Ghegue had devoured the 
whole of our provisions! Supperless, exhausted, 
and not venturing even to ask for water, for fear of 
betraying our helplessness, and of meeting with a 
refusal, we retired to a rising ground, and being 
unable to keep watch, we set up a figure, with a 
turban, having the end of a gun resting on its 
shoulder. Thus, gaining confidence, and satisfied 
with our device, we laid ourselves down, and fell 
asleep, after having relieved ourselves from our 
fears, rage, and irritation, by giving them velit. 

That evening, what were the contrasts we drew 
between the scenes we had witnessed on the Ma- 
kronoros and that now around us ; between the 
enthusiastic greeting and splendid hospitality of 
the Greek bands, and the contemptuous scowl, 
and the savage air, of the Skipetar hordes! Yet 
here we were entirely at the mercy of any one of 
these bandits, without any means of protection, or 
the slightest chance of retribution to arrest vio- 
lence. These reflections, placed in every possible 
light, led us to no other conclusion than a sincere 
wish to find ourselves, once more, in our comfort- 
able quarters at Janina. But we had maturely 
resolved on making this attempt ; we had been 
strengthened in our resolution by the dissuasion of 
our friends, and we could never have brooked the 
commendations we were sure to have heaped upon 
us if we had re-appeared at Janina. 

We ascertained, the next morning, that Veli 


Bey was to remain the whole of the day at a Khan, 
twenty-four miles distant. With the dawn, we 
were in motion. Troops had been arriving and 
departing continually during the night. Between 
two and three thousand men might have passed ; 
but the bustle and confusion would have led one 
to suppose that there had been three times that 
number. There was no order of any kind ; they 
were grouped around chiefs of great or little re- 
pute, and the minor chiefs again clustering round 
the greater. These bodies had each their inde- 
pendent views and modes of action. The men 
looked but to their immediate leaders. The re- 
lationship or intercourse between these depended 
on, or was modified by, a thousand influences, but 
all wore (as every thing in the East does, in conse- 
quence of the absence of political and party dif- 
ferences) a personal character ; the very antithesis 
of our notions of military discipline and political 

We managed to start by ourselves, and a little 
before a Bey with a large retinue, so as to appear 
to belong to his party. After ascending a low 
chain of sandstone hills, we reached, by a rapid 
descent, the vale, or rather the channel, of the 
river of Arta, which opened out straight before us, 
and seemed to penetrate to the very roots of 
Pindus. Through this channel we journeyed, inces- 
santly crossing the stream, and, at each turn, stop- 
ping to admire the magnificent peaks that towered 

VOL. I. Q 


up before and around us, in grandeur and in 

At mid-day, without more adventures, and 
almost without having seen a single Albanian, 
did we arrive at the Khan of Roses, where, to 
our infinite joy and relief, we were told that Veli 
Bey really was. We were conducted by a ladder 
to an upper loft, rather than a room, where, with 
a couple of men in strange costumes, Veli Bey 
was seated on the floor. Miserable as the hovel 
was, the group was a picture ; and the chief we 
had sought with so much anxiety, reclining on his 
white capote, magnificent in figure, and no less 
classic * than splendid in attire, was a subject for a 
Lysippus, and the personification of a monarch. 

Veli Bey stood up on our entrance. This 
single act shewed us at once our position, and his 
intentions, and relieved us from all doubts as to 
his disposition or his power of making his good- 
will effective. It established our character and 

* Veli Bey wore the white Arab benish over the golden 
Albanian fermeli, which, with the fustanel and leggings, em- 
broidered in gold, to represent metal grieves, gave him the air 
of a Roman statue, and was the most magnificent costume I 
have ever beheld. It was made for the ^masters of the world. 
In Titian's wood-cuts to the work on costumes, published at 
Venice, in 1598, the "Ambassador" and the "General" of 
Venice are represented as wearing that remarkable cloak. It 
may be recognised by the three tufts on one shoulder, — that is, 
when the arm is drawn through the hood. The tufts come to 
the throat when the benish is drawn over the head. 


position, not alone among his retainers, but also 
in the camp, and, I may say, in Albania. A west- 
ern, accustomed to the broad shadows of social 
equality, can have no conception of the effects and 
combinations of manner in the East. From the 
moment that manner becomes a means of action, 
not a movement or a sign can be matter of indif- 
ference. It is a conventional mode of intercourse, 
like speech, and thus they have two languages to 
our one. But this was the first time, after an in- 
tercourse with easterns, which I then thought both 
long and instructive, that a Mussulman had got up 
to receive me. I thought such a thing alike re- 
pugnant to their faith and their habits.* The fact 
opened a new, but still indistinct field of inquiry : 
however, it served, at least, to excite curiosity, 
encourage observation, strengthen resolution, and, 
above all, filled us with self-satisfaction at having 
undertaken this expedition, and at not having 
turned back to Janina the night before. 

At the very moment that we entered, dinner was 
preparing to be served ; no words passed, no invi- 
tation was given, and scarcely had we time to look 
about us, when the round leather tray was unfolded 

* At the time, I was not aware, nor do I conceive Europeans 
in Turkey generally are, that in Turkey alone do Mussulmans 
decline to pay this mark of respect to the professors of other 
faiths. Further on, I shall endeavour to explain the cause of 
this peculiarity, which has grown out of the hostile feelings of 



on the floor in the middle of the party, and the long 
napkin, whirled by a dexterous hand, fell at once 
over the knees of the Bey, the two Turkish stran- 
gers, and ourselves. An admirably roasted lamb, 
dressed whole, but served cut up, with excellent 
wheaten cakes, composed our fare. During our 
repast, not a word was exchanged, and we had too 
much to think of, and to do, to make the meal 
appear long or the silence irksome. The Bey 
seemed to have forgotten that we were present, and 
we felt that all we could expect was to be suffered 
to be there, and that, from untimely questions, we 
should neither fare the better nor know the more. 
Perhaps, accustomed to that laconic, but expressive 
manner which we then first began to feel, he thought 
that our reception told us all that it was necessary 
for us then to know, — namely, that he was not dis- 
pleased with our coming, and would give us a share 
of his carpet and his lamb. The reserve thus imposed 
upon us, and the dependence of our position, brought 
us to that happy state — attentive and. humble obser- 
vation — a benefit which, perhaps, few western travel- 
lers have enjoyed. Instead of speaking, criticising, 
and deciding, we watched, examined, waited, and 
held our tongues, and felt, for the first time, not 
only the elegance of eastern style, and the dignity 
of Turkish manner, but its real power. 

Fearful of being in the way, we retired imme- 
diately, and wandered to a grove above the Khan, 
to converse at liberty on all we had seen. The 


Bey was taking his siesta, and the few attendants 
had followed his example. In about an hour and 
a half, several horsemen arrived in haste : we had 
placed ourselves so as to observe the Khan and 
the road, determined not to be again left behind. 
We returned to the Khan, where now all was 
astir, and the Bey, whom we found alone, gave us 
a frank and hearty welcome ; he expressed his 
astonishment at our following him, and confessed 
he had intentionally omitted to send to us before 
his departure, as he feared that even if no mis- 
fortune happened, the poor entertainment he could 
give would send us away to England with a bad 
opinion of Albania. Peace was soon made, and 
we assured him that we felt the propriety of his 
disinclination to take with him in such an expedi- 
tion a couple of useless and, as he might suppose, 
inquisitive and intractable Franks ; but that we 
should give him no trouble, ask him no questions, 
and never be seen by him except at his own desire. 

Having come to this satisfactory understand- 
ing, he told us that we must now prepare for 
the mountains — that he was to encamp that 
night at ten miles distance, in a vale on the summit 
of the Pindus. 

On leaving the Khan, we turned off to the left 
from the Janina road, and commenced the ascent 
of the lofty chain that separates Thessaly from 
Albania. We were at that time in possession but 
of scanty and uncertain light respecting the 


strength and object of the expedition, or the 
positive force, intentions, and character, of the 
insurgents ; however, we perceived that the pea- 
santry were in the greatest alarm, and that the 
hearts of the Albanians, even those of our own 
party, were with Arslan Bey, who, they asserted, 
had fifteen or twenty thousand men. We were 
astonished not to see any troops with ourselves, 
and Veli Bey starting with a retinue of not more 
than twenty horsemen. Without obtruding our- 
selves on his presence or attention, we endeavoured 
to read his countenance. He rode along by himself, 
his chin almost resting on his breast, quite lost to 
things around him. His pipe-bearer from time to 
time rode up with a fresh lit pipe, which he took 
and put to his lips mechanically. What might be 
supposed to occupy his thoughts ? On one side, 
Arslan Bey, master of Mezzovo, the rations cut off, 
Janina fallen — Selictar Poda there again, and in 
possession of the person of Emin Pasha — Veli Bey 
sunk for ever, a fugitive in Greece, or his head on 
the Seraglio gate. On the other, Arslan Bey beaten 
back — Janina saved — Emin Pasha retained — Selic- 
tar Poda humbled — Albania organised — the Alba- 
nians disciplined — Veli Bey general of brigade — 
Veli Bey farmer of the fish preserves — Veli Bey 
governor of Prevesa — of Arta — of Janina — Veli — 
Pasha ! Ay, and who could tell ? perhaps Vizier ! 
The day even might come when Veli Jacchio 
might be Zadrazem! Such may have been the 


waking visions which the Father of the Gods and 
men had mingled for him, from either vase which 
contains the dreams of ambitious mortals. But not 
less anxious must have been the cares imposed 
upon him by his actual state, immediate danger, 
and necessities. Subordination to maintain without 
money — an enemy to meet without troops — a 
master to obey whose success was destruction — an 
antagonist to resist in self-defence, whose discomfi- 
ture was fatal — and implements to use which could 
neither be trusted nor neglected. Lost in the 
mists of destiny which a breath might call down in 
iron rain, or dispel in brightness and in sunshine, 
well might he refuse to add a traveller's questions 
to his cares, drop his chin upon his breast, and 
smoke his empty pipe as if it had been full. 

The mountain we were climbing was, as I have 
already said, the central range of the Pindus, run- 
ing north and south through continental Greece, 
separating Thessaly from Epirus — long, lofty, and 
narrow — rising like a wall from the dead levels of 
Thessaly on one side, and the plains of Arta and 
Janina on the other. We were crossing it near the 
central group from which flow the five largest rivers 
of Ancient Greece, running eastward and westward, 
and also north and south. On our right, detached 
from the more continuous ridges, arose this group, 
high above the rest, with its breaker-like peaks. 
Masses of earth and rock, rather than mountains, 
were piled up and scattered all around. The cliffs 


were naked, and as if fresh broken off; the earth 
seemed just to have slipped down, and the land- 
scape looked like a scene in a crater, or the morrow 
of the Deluge, idealised by the magnificent sensation 
of silence, which is half the poetry of desolation. 

In this eternal amphitheatre of nature, what were 
the human atoms that might be discovered creeping 
along its cornices and domes ? Their passions dis- 
turbed not its sublimity ; their shouts of victory or 
cries of agony could scarcely break in upon its 
repose! If the sight of masses of the earth towering 
to the clouds — aspiring to and shutting out the 
heavens from our eyes — turns us back at all times 
to our fellow creatures, inclined to pity, but more 
inclined to wonder ; — if 

" All that refines the spirit, yet appals, 
Gather around these summits " — 

how much the more must their grandeur strike 
with awe when seen in such company ; how must 
their mass and their eternity impose when standing 
beside, measuring with the mind and eye the petty 
mortal of a fathom and a day, that calls himself 
their lord and master ! 

We had started with a slender escort, and won- 
dered what had become of the numerous bands 
which we had seen scattered over the plain of 
Janina, and which had passed us during the night. 
As we ascended, the Pindus appeared a perfect 
solitude, but our escort imperceptibly increased ; 


we could not comprehend whence came the acces- 
sions to our numbers ; we turned round to admire 
the view, and to see if any bodies were overtaking 
us. When we resumed our march, the whole moun- 
tain above us was suddenly covered with men. This 
had been the place of rendezvous and refreshment ; 
and, in taking their siesta, the troops had composed 
themselves to sleep with a Skipetar's instinct of con- 
cealment. Soldiers now started up from under every 
bush and tree, and from behind every rock — and 
what a place for this sudden apparition ! The road 
ascended by divers zig-zags over five or six succes- 
sive summits. It was instantaneously thronged 
with Spahis and lance-bearing Chaldupes ; Beys on 
gallant chargers, and long lines of the kirtled Ski- 
petar, in all the gorgeousness of glancing armour, 
and of shining colours, and in every variety of 
martial and picturesque costume. These files, set 
quickly in motion, produced an effect which no 
words can convey; — now seeming to cross each 
other with the turns of the zig-zag path — now lost 
in the foliage, now appearing in bold relief on the 
rocks — now drawn out in straight and lengthened 
lines on the face of the dark mountain — now sud- 
denly breaking from the regular path, and clamber- 
ing like goats to the road above ; thus diminishing 
on the receding distances and ascending heights till 
we could trace them only by the white line of their 
snowy capotes and fustanels, and by the glittering 
of silver and of steel. 


As if nature had resolved on adorning the pro- 
spect with all the charms her fancy could suggest, 
and with all the power her elements could bestow — 
mountains of snow-white clouds rose into the deep 
blue sky ; and, during twenty minutes, a thousand 
changes of light and shade were cast over the 
heavens and the earth. Then the storm approached, 
darkened, descended ; and long, distant, and melo- 
dious chords of music, worthy of the scene, pealed 
among the halls of Pindus. Large drops of rain 
began to fall, glittering through the not yet ex- 
cluded sunshine ; but the dense and heavy masses 
came on, enveloping us in darkness and drenching 
us in rain ; stunning peals burst like explosions from 
the earth, or fell like blows dealt by the unseen 
genius of the storm, shattering the rocks, while the 
flashes shot from cloud to cloud, and the thunders 
were sent around from cliff to cliff. The road 
became a torrent ; the rain was succeeded by hail, 
driven by tremendous gusts of wind, which now 
dashed the torn clouds against us, and now swept 
them past. As we took shelter under a rock, a 
break in the driving clouds opened, for a moment, 
a glimpse of the world far below : there lay the vale 
we had traversed in the morning, in silence and in 
beauty, gazing upwards, as Love is figured watching 
Madness. There no shred of the tempest had fallen ; 
not a rain-drop had broken the mirror of its foun- 
tains, nor a breath stirred the leaves of its bowers. 
The stream meandering below sent up to our region 


of strife and darkness the reflected rays of the de- 
clining sun, and gliding through meadows of velvet 
green, shone like a silver chain cast on an embroi- 
dered cushion. 

These summer storms are rare, and scarcely 
ever fall on the plains ; but where they do fall their 
fury is uncontrolled. Sheds, houses, and trees, are 
torn up, and cattle and sheep are blown over the 
precipices ; but their ravages do not extend far, nor 
does their fury endure long. When they sweep the 
sea of this ship-strewn shore, their destructiveness is 
not less felt, though not so much sung, as of yore. 
Still, every man who has been a schoolboy exclaims, 
as he sails along the coast, resplendent in the sun 
and fragrant in the breeze — " Infames scopuli Acro- 
cerauniae ! " I had before seen such a storm from the 
Makronoros, -and have described the effect it had 
from a distance. The plain below was tranquil ; so 
seemed the cliffs above ; but midway a chaos of 
black and leaden clouds seemed writhing in agony, 
and casting their zig-zag lightning against the 
mountain, or on the plain. An object full of gran- 
deur to behold, but not a very pleasant experiment 
to repeat. 

After the storm was over, it was indeed a sight 
to view the gay Palicars, wringing their drenched 
fustanels, and with their dripping embroidery drag- 
gling in the mud. But what with the soaking, the 
chill of the atmosphere by the storm, and, at this 
elevation, the great change of temperature from the 


hot plains below, no one was disposed to make him- 
self merry at the expense of others. 

About sunset we reached the Khan of Placa, 
at the summit of the pass, where Veli Bey was to 
spend the night. The troops moved on to a little 
plain, where an encampment had already been 
formed, and where a thousand men had been for 
some time stationed, to command or support the 
various passes. There preparations had been made 
for the reception of this fresh body, which, we 
now understood, mustered five thousand muskets. 
Looking from the heights of the Pindus, we at 
once comprehended the state of parties and things, 
and we had the additional satisfaction of finding 
that we owed our perceptions to the first cause of 
all knowledge, and the parent of all science — 
geography. What is there, like a bird's-eye view of 
a country, for the comprehension of all its human 
interests ; and how pleasing it is to arrive at know- 
ledge through the observation of things, and not 
through men's tongues ! 

The Khan of Placa is an old, ill-adjusted, and 
spacious building — a court in the centre is sur- 
rounded by galleries, corridors, and some dingy, 
deal-separated apartments. The wall without, and 
the lower part within, are in masonry ; the rest is 
crazy and creaking timber. The crowds of sol- 
diers and attendants, rendered weightier still by 
their wet capotes, made the whole edifice shake 
and rock. The court was filled with baggage- 


horses, and just in the busiest moment of unlading, 
a second burst of hail and thunder rendered the 
animals quite ungovernable, and a scene of inde- 
scribable confusion ensued. In a short time, how- 
ever, things were shaken down into something like 
order, the lucky ones got into dry clothes, and we 
were of the number ; a general forage was made 
in search of firewood, some ran to the surrounding 
forests, some collected dryer materials elsewhere, 
and the timbers of the old Khan were found to burn 
like tinder. A dozen fires within and without the 
court soon sent up volumes of flame and smoke, and, 
as if by magic, half a dozen sheep, at full length, 
were spitted, and laid down before them, on long 
poles, resting on a fork, stuck in the ground, with 
a crotchet at one end, which was slowly turned 
round by the hand. 

We ascended a little eminence that overlooked 
the Khan. What a contrast with the brilliant 
scene of the forenoon ! what an antithesis to the 
storm that followed it! Now, not a breath was 
stirring; that darkness reigned around which fol- 
lows the last expiring rays of twilight, and which 
was deepened, almost to blackness, by the glare 
of the fires, except where their light was reflected 
from the tall columns of smoke above, and from 
the rocks and trees around. A sensation the most 
delicious was produced by the fragrance of the 
atmosphere after the storm ; and, standing on the 
edge of a cliff, at the height of between four and 


five thousand feet, we inhaled the air, rising up 
warm and soft, and charged with the odours of the 
blossoms and the plants it had caressed as it 
rose, from lowly flowers to myrtle groves, and to 
mountain heather. Our companions revelled in 
the balmy air, they bared their arms and breasts, 
and stood, like sea-gulls on rocks, stretching their 
necks to catch the breezes, and expressing their 
delight by short cries, and by the flutter of their 
extended wings.* 

But an odour not less rich and savoury soon 
wooed our thoughts, and attracted our steps else- 
where. A rich brown had succeeded to the milky 
hue of the prostrate mutton, as we again ap- 
proached the fires ; the escaping steam, and 
strengthening odour, the increased activity of the 
arms of the turnspits, and the perspiration pouring 
from their heated faces, announced the approach- 
ing termination of their labours. 

* While revising this sheet, I find the following charac- 
teristic sketch, in a little old book, by one Mr. Robert Withers, 
published in 1650, and entitled M A Description of the Grand 
Signor's Seraglio." 

" Nor, indeed, doth a Turke at any time shew himself to be 
so truly pleased and satisfied in his senses, as he doth in the 
summer time, when he is in a pleasant garden. For he is no 
sooner come into it (if it be his own, or where he thinks he may 
be bold), than he puts off his upper coat, and laies it aside, and 
on that his Turbant ; then turns up his sleeves, and unbuttoneth 
himself, turning his breast to the winde, if there be any, if not, 
he fans himself, or his servant doth it for him. Again, some- 
times, standing upon a high bank, to take the fresh air, holding 


But with all the contentment which such a 
prospect might afford, we had not the comfortable 
feeling of being " at home." Two fires blazed in 
the middle of the court ; between them it was just 
possible to pass without being suffocated or 
scorched, and there we determined to promenade, 
where we could certainly neither fail to be seen 
nor observed in connexion with supper. First, 
one sheep was lifted up, the long pole shouldered 
by a Palicar, and away he ran with the smoking 
trophy, but no announcement followed that supper 
was ready. Another went, and then another, and 
they all went, but no censal proclaimed, " Mon- 
sieur est servi." 

We had roasted ourselves to no purpose ; our 
scheme but betrayed our ignorance, and insulted 
Turkish hospitality. A laconic " buiurti* dispelled 
our doubts, and we found the Bey in a small room, 
or rather box, most comfortably lined with shaggy 

his arms abroad (as a cormorant, sitting on a rock, doth his 
wings, in sunshine, after a storm), courting the weather and 
sweet air, calling it his soul, his life, and his delight ; ever and 
anon shewing some visible signs of contentment. Nor shall the 
garden, during his pleasant distraction, be termed otherwise 
than Paradise ; with whose flowers he stuffes his bosom and 
decketh his turbant, shaking his head at their sweet savour. 
Sometimes he singeth a song to some pretty flower, by whose 
name his mistress is called; and uttering words of as great joy 
as if, at that instant, she herself were there present. And one 
bit of meat in a garden shall do him more good than the best 
fare that may be, elsewhere." 


capotes, large enough to hold us and give us 
elbow-room, with a whole sheep, divided into 
manageable morsels, piled on the leather tray in 
the middle of the floor, for us three to pick and 
choose the tit-bits, or devour in toto, if so dis- 

After the drenching, and the ride, the Bey- 
indulged in a few extra glasses of rakki, and of 
wine ; and truth, the proverbial attendant of the 
juice of the grape, suddenly increased his confi- 
dence. He burst forth in a violent philippic 
against the allied powers, and, wonderful to relate, 
as it was startling for us to hear, fell upon the 
poor reprobated Protocol with no less acrimony, 
and, apparently, no less justice, than the peasants 
of Acarnania, or the Hellenes of Makronoros. We 
looked at each other with surprise : — Good God! 
thought we, is it possible that these sage diplo- 
matists, and these cabinets, which we at that time 
considered oracles, have equally succeeded in 
exasperating Greeks, Turks, and Albanians ? And 
what a strange coincidence is it, that here, again, 
all the blame should be laid upon the shoulders of 
England ? "I care not," said Veli Bey, with an 
incoherence that evinced the depth of his feelings, 
" what the French have done, what the Russians 
have done — they could have done nothing without 
England ; but that England should so have treated 
us, is incomprehensible and unbearable. England," 
he repeated, with measured pathos, " which we 


placed above our heads," raising his hands as if to 
give effect to his faltering words ; but at that 
moment the strength of his feelings quite overcame 
him, he fell on his cushion, and his pipe dropped 
from his hand ; we started up for cold water and 
burnt feathers, but a loud snore apprised us that 
he had found temporary relief from the sense of 
political degradation, to which he was so painfully 

VOL. I. 




The next morning we set forward to the place of 
encampment, which was in a beautiful little cleared 
plain. The hills here are covered with forests of 
magnificent beech ; there is no underwood amongst 
the trees, and no brushwood between the forest 
and the cleared land, and, consequently, the 
scenery presents that character which we desig- 
nate '* parklike." Wherever you ascended from the 
level ground, you came upon the round, straight, 
columnlike trunks of the beech, giving access to 
the deep shadows as if of pillared temples; and 
here again was the Skipetar gathering almost in- 
visible. On extending our observations, we per- 
ceived numerous and diversified preparations for 
bivouacking; sheds, made of green boughs, were 
erected on the ground ; pallets were reared on 
stakes, or suspended from the branches ; and the 
white busy figures were seen every where glan- 
cing through the trees. In the open ground, 
troops of horses were grazing, and the place re- 


sounded with the rattling of the Turkish curry- 
comb. After wandering about for some time we 
again sought the Bev, and found him established 
on the summit of a little knoll, just within the 
edge of the forest, shaded by its foliage, and com- 
manding through the trunks a prospect all around. 
We were invited to a place on his own carpet ; the 
Beys and Agas were seated around in a large circle 
two or three deep ; and behind these, stood some 
hundred soldiers. For a couple of hours did we 
sit, spectators of this assemblage, without under- 
standing a word of the language, or having any 
idea of what was going on. A decision at length 
was taken. The standards had been planted in the 
plain below, and the standard-bearers formed part 
of the circle. An order to them from the Bey 
sent them rushing down, with a hundred of their 
fellows at their heels, to pluck two of the four 
standards from the ground ; and the savage war- 
whoop that was sent up at the same moment, and 
the tinkling larum of the tambourgi, made the 
plain and the hills resemble a disturbed ant-hill. 
The chiefs, surrounded by the principal persons, 
followed at a slow and dignified pace, while the 
horsemen galloped forward, and wheeled around 
them, whirling their tnjenks and long misdrachi 
(lances). Those who had to use their own legs 
seemed scarcely less active ; they commenced, by 
discharging their tufenks, singing, shouting, scam- 
pering over the hills, and running races, till, 

r 2 


finally, a general rush and race took place towards 
the gorge through which the Bey had to pass. 
We had remained on the eminence where the Bey 
had been, and saw all this passing beneath us, and 
we now ascertained that about one-half of the men 
only accompanied the Bey. We determined to 
follow the moving body, although it was no very 
pleasant thing to follow in the rear, and without a 
chance of reaching, in these narrow defiles, the 
chief party. It was not, however, to be over- 
looked, that this position gave us imme'nse ad- 
vantages in case of a retreat. We therefore set 
forward, as heretofore, three ridiculous figures, in 
shabby, tattered, jejune, frank habiliments, which, 
in their trimmest style, and newest fashion, would 
have been miserable compared even with the 
meanest costume around us. At this moment 
suddenly appeared Abbas Bey, our friend of the 
Khan of Baldouna. We at first determined to cut 
him dead, but, in two minutes after, we were pro- 
ceeding along in friendly converse together, he 
having declared that henceforward he took us under 
his own special protection, that he should every 
where see to our being comfortably housed, and 
would keep us informed of every thing he knew. 
He spoke Greek fluently. These were, of course, 
offers not to be rejected. He explained his leaving 
us at the Khan, by saying, that he did not know 
whether the chief approved of our coming, and 
he did not know whether we might not be Russian 


spies ; he had heard at Janina that we were Eng- 
lish, but he did not know whether we were true 
English ; " but now, since we see how the Bey 
treats you, it is quite another thing." 

We learned from our new friend that Veli Bey 
was proceeding to meet Arslan Bey, in a little 
valley called Milies, where a conference was to be 
held between the two parties, and whither each 
was to repair attended by the chief men. We 
remarked, that Veli Bey's suite appeared in that 
case somewhat too numerous. " Oh," answered 
Abbas Bey, " you may be sure that Arslan Bey 
will come with at least as many!" Our informant 
severely reprehended the excesses of which Arslan 
Bey and his party had been guilty ; " but," said 
he, with a shake of the head, u he is the only man 
for Albania; and I, for my part, was always of 
opinion that Veli Bey should have remained at 
Janina, because, if this expedition is cut off, as 
there is every chance it will be, there is not a man 
remaining who has sufficient authority to collect 
troops ; and then, you know, what will become of 
the poor Greeks, whom we are toiling thus, and 
risking our lives, to protect?" 

After crossing some low sandstone hills we 
arrived at a rapid descent. The rock is serpentine, 
of shining and glassy lustre, of all shades of blue, 
green, and brown. Here the Bey had halted, and, 
conducted by our new guardian and friend, we 
found him seated at a distance on the rock, with a 


single person, whom we understood was an emis- 
sary from his antagonist. When he returned to the 
road he told us, smiling, that Arslan Bey thought 
of submitting instead of fighting; and gave us to 
understand that he was reduced to very desperate 
circumstances. But still, instead of waiting to re- 
ceive the suppliant, we found we were to proceed to 
meet him. After descending the rugged hill, an 
hour, through a narrow valley, brought us to the 
plain of Milies. At the gorge, a troop of Arslan 
Bey's horse was drawn up. They made their obei- 
sance in the most lowly guise as the Bey approached, 
and, when he had passed, joined the throng behind 
him. The ground was confused, and there was 
now a general rush from behind forward ; the men 
on foot had been gradually expelled from the centre 
by the pressing of the horses, and we entered the 
meadow at full gallop. The press, the confusion, 
the dust, was such that we could distinguish neither 
where we were going, nor the ground we were 
passing over ; and I am sure that, if a hundred 
muskets had been discharged at us, a general scam- 
per and rout must have taken place, and we should 
have upset each other, attacked our friends, or 
have fled from them. It is a very singular thing to 
see warfare conducted between enemies wearing 
the same costume, speaking the same language, and 
without any distinctive signs, marks, or watchwords. 
Here soldiers are instruments, but not machines ; 
the most powerful assemblages of troops may be 


melted away in a moment, and gatherings may as 
suddenly assemble, fit to change the fate of pro- 
vinces and of empires, through agency of a moral 
character, which it is most painful for a stranger to 
trace with accuracy, but which still is one of the 
most interesting features, and one of the deepest 
inquiries, presented by the East. 

Between the European and the Eastern com- 
mander there is this most remarkable difference, 
that the intercourse of the first with his men ceases 
with the duty of the field ; he is known to them 
only through the discipline he enforces, and the 
services he commands, and makes no appeals to 
their affections in social life. The Eastern com- 
mander, on the contrary, is the Patriarch of his 
followers ; — he is the arbitrator of their differences 
— the chief of their community — knows each, and 
the affairs of each — and such is the equalising 
effect of those manners which appear to us to place 
so immeasurable a distance between man and man, 
that the humblest soldier may, under certain circum- 
stances, be admitted to break bread with his gene- 
ral. The characters which there ensure fidelity 
and raise to power, are ability indicated by success ; 
and the disposition to repay loyalty by protection, 
indicated by generosity. And if I were to place in 
order the qualifications which lead to greatness, I 
should say : justice first, then generosity ; and only 
after these, military skill and personal valour. 

In the middle of the little plain, and close to a 


clear fresh stream, stood a splendid weeping willow : 
this was the spot chosen for meeting, and here Veli 
Bey dismounted ; he was soon seated on his carpet, 
and a circle of Beys and men formed around him. 
It appeared to us extraordinary that Arslan Bey 
was not already here, and the more so, as the higher 
ground all around was occupied by his men. Many 
suspicions crossed our minds, and we retired up the 
side of the hill to make our observations, and to 
escape the effects of the first discharges, which we 
had now no doubt would, at some preconcerted 
signal, be poured on the crowd in the plain. There, 
thought I, are those men with the eye-ball of de- 
struction glaring upon them, sitting with the same 
infatuation that year after year lures to destruction 
the chiefs and the rebels of Turkey ! There scarcely 
is an example of a revolt that has not been sub- 
dued, or of a struggle between rival chieftains 
which has not been concluded by an act of trea- 
chery, in which the party deceived has been led 
into the noose with a facility which appears to us 
both childish and incomprehensible : the reason of 
this I at that time was just beginning to see. 
These movements, not being connected with gene- 
ral principles, can be annihilated only in the person 
of their conductors ; and that apparent confidence 
by which so unaccountably those appear to be be- 
trayed, is the result of the daring and decision 
upon which alone their authority depends. 

In the midst of these reflections a cloud of dust 


arose at the opposite extremity of the meadow, and 
shouts of "He comes! he comes!" arose on all 
sides. An alley of two hundred paces was opened 
from the willow-tree, lined on both sides by the 
troops of Veli Bey. At the extremity were planted 
in the ground the two standards of our chief, — the 
one pure white, the other white and green, bearing 
a double-bladed sword, and blood-red hand, and 
some masonic diagrams. A troop of about two 
hundred horse dashed up in most gallant style, and 
with a greater air of regularity than I had ever wit- 
nessed before. When they reached the standards 
they pulled sharp up, trotted on to the willow-tree, 
filling up the whole breadth of the alley, and then 
wheeling right and left, ranged themselves behind 
the lines of Veli Bey's foot-soldiers. At this mo- 
ment Arslan Bey himself reached the standards — he 
there dismounted ; at the same moment Veli Bey 
stood up under the willow-tree ; this was a signal 
for a general discharge of the whole muskets of 
both parties ; and when the smoke cleared away 
we saw the two chiefs embracing each other in the 
centre of the alley, to which, with equal steps, they 
had advanced from either extremity. Each then em- 
braced the principal adherents of his antagonists : — 
this was the signal for the respective troops to follow 
their example ; and all around nothing was to be seen 
but figures bending down and rising up with such a 
motion as a field of battle presents when men are 
struggling hand to hand, and closing in the embrace 


of hate. This was a strange meeting of the rival 
hordes of a Firmanli and his commissioned execu- 
tioner ; and whoever had looked upon the fervour 
and simplicity of that meeting — " where they fell 
and wept on each other's necks," — might have 
deemed it that of Lot and Abraham with their 
households. In embracing, they bend down as they 
meet each other, kiss the mouth, then press cheek 
to cheek on either side, while they either formally 
extend their arms, or more or less closely press 
each other. But the lowness to which they stoop, 
whether or not the kiss on the lips is given, or one 
or both cheeks are pressed, or the embrace is formal 
or close, constitute an endless series of shades and 
distinctions, indicating degrees of acquaintance, 
friendship, affection, relationship, station, relative 
rank, authority, and command. 

Broken and abrupt ground rising on either side, 
over which fell in little cascades the water that 
turned several mills ; well-wooded hills beyond, in 
which the fir predominated, and above these, the 
lofty and precipitous cliffs of the Pindus, displayed 
to the best advantage the troops bristling along 
each summit, or crowded in the valley. Beneath 
the willow was assembled the principal group; — 
five thousand men were scattered in parties, above, 
below, and around us ; — congratulations, embra- 
cings, and loud laughs, activity, bustle, and ever- 
varying and pleasing confusion, the different ex- 
pressions of their countenances, their elaborate 


compliments, the variety and beauty of their cos- 
tume, richness of accoutrement, strangeness of 
arms, brilliancy and contrast of colours, fatigued the 
curiosity they could not cloy. While we congratu- 
lated ourselves at being present at so extraordinary 
a scene, every novel effect and striking character 
made us deplore the absence of such a graphic pen 
as that which had rendered Ashby-de-la-Zouch 
classic ground. 

The public conference lasted about a quarter of 
an hour ; a general movement then informed us 
that the chieftains were about to retire to a Khan 
near at hand for private discussion. We pressed 
forward to obtain a closer view of Arslan Bey. The 
two walked on, half embraced, when Veli Bey, 
perceiving us, stopped, and patting Arslan Bey on 
the breast, cried out — " Here is the Turk ! You 
see we have caught the Klepht you were so anxious 
to fight with." Taking this for an Albanian mode 
of presentation, we bowed low, whilst the young 
" Lion," drawing himself to his height, scanned us 
from head to foot ; but, strange as our figures were, 
his thoughts were evidently not with his eyes. They 
moved on and entered the Khan ; the doors were 
closed upon them, and a black attendant of either 
chief defended them against the throngs of Palicars 
that pressed, like swarms of bees around their 

The scene which presented so much agitation 
gradually sank into repose. The Palicars, in social 


groups, nestled themselves in the bushes ; nothing 
was to be seen but groups of grazing horses. After 
an hour's ramble, exhausted by the mid-day heat, 
we turned towards the Khan. From every bush, 
as we passed, we heard the words repeated, " Signor 
&cc ygoc^psrs touto ?" — Will you write this ? meaning 
— Will you print it ? The constant, and not friendly 
stare of the Albanians of the other party almost 
determined us on retiring to the first encampment, 
when Abas Bey again came to our assistance, and 
proposed our entering the chamber, as the confe- 
rence was drawing to a close, and we could not 
interrupt it, not understanding the Skipt. The 
passage was consequently cleared, and we had the 
satisfaction of being present at a conference on 
which such immense results depended. 

The two chiefs were seated on a mat under a 
small window, which gave the only light to the 
room, which fell with full power and with deep 
shadows on the group : a white cloak, hung up on 
the opposite side, increased the effect, by throwing 
back a pale glare over their countenances. The 
remainder of the dungeon-like apartment was dark. 
In a remote corner, from time to time groaned a 
sick man, who had been removed out of hearing 
from a pallet on which we were seated. A bowl of 
raki, a bottle of Samian wine, and a plate of salt- 
fish, stood between the Beys. We sat for three 
hours, during which their conference was still pro- 
longed, sometimes gravely animated, sometimes in 


scarcely audible whispers, whilst they leaned forward 
and seemed to look into each other's soul. Seve- 
ral times drops of large perspiration started from 
Arslan Bey's brow, and once Veli Bey impressed a 
kiss on his forehead. 

Our anticipations had been excited by the praises 
we had constantly heard lavished on Arslan Bey ; 
nor were we disappointed. His person was good, 
though below the middle size ; his features fine, 
with a mild expression, but a fierce eye ; a dark 
handkerchief bound the small red cap over his high 
and well-turned forehead ; his dress was plain and 
soldierlike, and youth gave additional interest to the 
ideal character which we always suppose, and to 
the natural powers of mind and body that must 
always be combined in a leader who struggles with 
constituted authority. They told us he was only 
twenty-two, but I should say he was twenty-five. 
At an early age, Arslan Bey found himself at the 
head of one of the first families of Albania, one of 
the richest men, and endeared to the soldiery by 
his personal courage and conviviality : his con- 
nexion by marriage with Selictar Poda, increased 
his influence, while his accession to the party of 
the Selictar, rendered that party predominant. 
Two years before he had been named Mousselim 
and Dervend Aga of Triccala ; subsequently he was 
sent, with five or six thousand men, to open a 
passage for the Turkish regulars, that were blocked 
up by the Greeks in Negropont and Attica. After 


this service he was made Governor of Zeitouni, in 
Thessaly : the pay of his men was not remitted to 
him, or it was not punctually paid by him ; the 
men became outrageous — on one occasion even 
seized him by the throat ; and excesses of every 
kind were committed. At this moment the Sadra- 
zem sent him orders to resign his command. His 
party, from the reasons I have before stated, ap- 
prehending the designs of the Sadrazem, thought 
this a most favourable moment, by exciting the 
exasperation of Arslan Bey, to strike a blow,' before 
the Grand Vizier could bring his forces to bear 
against themselves ; perhaps, too, the Selictar was 
desirous, before declaring himself, to see how things 
would turn ; for, after exciting Arslan Bey to re- 
volt, he remained an indifferent spectator of the 
contest. Arslan Bey then plundered Codgana, a 
wealthy Greek township, and a great deal of booty 
had been collected ; this he intended sharing among 
his men, according to their rate of pay and length 
of service. But this act had given cause to his 
being declared Firmanli; whether successful or 
not, the sword hung over his individual head, and 
there was scarcely more subordination amongst his 
men, than union amongst his party. Already be- 
trayed by the last, the first, on any advantage or 
check, might equally abandon him. He held the 
destinies of Albania in his hands ; his will or ca- 
price was actually the ruling power, and a word 
from him might let the thunderbolt fall upon it. 


If he let it fall, what benefit could he expect? 
If he restrained the storm, what assurance of 
recompense, what guarantee of pardon, could he 
obtain ? These arguments we imagined we could 
trace in the imposing tones and manner of Veli 
Bey, and in the deep reflectiveness of his antago- 
nist, who, although he had his rival in his hands, 
suffered him to assume so decided a superiority. 
Veli Bey's cares were not less anxious, or his breast 
more quiet, whatever was the serenity that sate on 
his brow ; but all that I then knew of his inward 
thoughts, and of his actual circumstances, I have 
already detailed. 

We remained silent and motionless in our 
corner, catching at every word, tone, or gesture, 
to which we could attach a meaning, and marking 
the expression with which were uttered the words, 
Sadrazem, Cagana, Lufe, Padechah, &c. Veli 
Bey had, from time to time, been handing us over 
raki, and giving vent to his satisfaction in rallying 
Arslan Bey, and asking us how we liked the 
Klepht ; but he could not induce the fixed features 
of the young rebel to relax into a smile. At length, 
Veli Bey called for dinner, and some of the prin- 
cipal officers, who thronged the passage without, 
in the most anxious expectation, burst into the 
apartment. We ourselves were perfectly ignorant 
of the result, nor could we exclude the idea that 
the conference might terminate in blood ; and each 
unexpected movement, in either chief, instantly 


riveted our attention. When the Beys entered 
the room, Veli Bey exclaimed, "Brothers, it is 
peace !" Those of his party again embraced Arslan 
Bey, but more fervently than before ; they then 
attempted to tear from his forehead the kerchief 
that bound it; he struggled for a moment, but 
they tore it from him, and stamped upon it. Veli 
Bey seemed delighted, laughed, and pointed out to 
us the new Tactico (Nizzam). During dinner, the 
conversation was principally in Albanian, in which 
Arslan Bey, with remarkable versatility of powers 
and character, took the lead ; peals of laughter fol- 
lowed every word he uttered. When we had eaten, 
washed, and drank a cup of coffee, the room was 
again cleared. The chief adherents of Arslan Bey 
were then called back by name, and collected by 
Veli Bey in a circle around him : he addressed 
them in a long discourse. Often as I have had to 
lament the ignorance of language, never did I de- 
plore that ignorance as on this occasion. The 
continuity, the oratorical sweep of his periods, the 
variety of intonation, action, and expression — the 
scorn, reproach, and, finally, pity, of which the 
men before him were evidently themselves the 
objects, exhibited powers no less extraordinary 
than judgment, and not less courage than rhetoric ; 
and we learned that day a lesson, with respect to 
the characters of the Eastern mind, that neither, 
probably, will soon forget. When he had com- 
pletely mastered his hearers, his manner changed 


entirely, and their reconciliation was sealed in a 
formal manner. One was placed opposite to Veli 
Bey, two others on either side ; they rose together, 
leaned forward, and, each stretching out his arms, 
the four stood locked in one embrace. Veli Bey 
kissed each separately, repeating, " We have 

The conference, after eight hours of painful 
anxiety, being thus happily concluded, Veli Bey 
and Arslan Bey left the Khan as they had entered, 
half embracing each other. The men started up, 
thronging around them ; the Tambourgi's alarum 
sounded, and we again ascended the hill, to see the 
separating squadrons reiterating adieus, galloping 
round their leaders, whirling their spears and mus- 
kets, and running races up the hills or through the 

We returned to the encampment, and had our 
tent pitched in it. Veli Bey took up his quar- 
ters with us. He had previously few thoughts or 
words to spare ; but now, in the exultation of suc- 
cess, he opened to us his own prospects, and his 
hopes for Albania, and spent the greater part of 
each day in giving us the history of the Grand 
Vizier, of the Greek war, of his feud with Selictar 
Poda, and of every thing he thought might be in- 
teresting or instructive. The organisation of Alba- 
nia was the subject he dwelt on with the greatest 
satisfaction ; and his own appointment to the com- 
mand of 12,000 men, which was the immediate 
I vol. i. s 


recompense held out for his reducing this insur- 
rection. He seemed to take delight in speaking to 
us, in the midst of his men, of the plans that had 
been formed for organising Albania, as if to sound 
their feelings, and to gain support from the appro- 
bation of Europeans. On the other hand, the men 
said to us, " Tell our Bey to leave us our fustanels, 
and we will become any thing he pleases." With 
equal earnestness, Veli Bey entered into the com- 
mercial interests and prospects of his country, the 
ameliorations that might be introduced ; aftove all, 
the necessity of establishing friendly feelings be- 
tween his own people and Europe, through which 
foreign capital would pour in, and, by facilitating 
the means of conveyance, greatly increase the 
wealth of the country and the value of land. He 
anxiously inquired into every improvement and 
discovery in agriculture or machinery, with the 
view of turning his triumph, as he said, to the 
advantage of their children ; so that, when an old 
man, he might bring his grandsons to see the 
valley in the Pindus, where the projects were 
conceived. His natural reserve, and the repre- 
sentation in which they commonly live, had worn 
off by the close contact in which we were placed, 
apparently to the gratification of both parties. We 
were delighted with having so excellent an oppor- 
tunity of examining their character and ideas, 
while he seemed equally pleased at being able to 
express, unconstrainedly, his opinions of his own 


people, of the Turks, and of European policy, 
which, I need not say, he did not spare, and his 
admiration of our military organisation and scien- 
tific inventions. " Perhaps," said he, smiling, 
"you may one day pay dear for the lessons you 
have been at such pains to teach us." The steam- 
gun and carriage were the chief lions. It was his 
great delight, after each conversation, to repeat 
these wonders to his people ; and then, with a 
shake of his head, he would add, " Ay, these are 
men." He expressed his determination, as soon as 
the Sadrazem arrived, and he had three or four 
months free, to go to England. He made every 
inquiry as to his journey, stay, and the manner in 
which he would be received ; and I am sure we did 
not exaggerate the sensation he would have created 
in London, if he went attended, as he proposed, by 
twenty of his finest men. 

While we remained in the camp, our tent, the 
only one, was pitched in the little plain, and in it 
he slept. At daylight, pipes and coffee were 
brought ; we remained chatting, washing, and 
dressing, till the sun was well risen : Veli Bey then 
walked up into the wood, where his carpet was 
spread on the spot already described. As soon as 
he was perceived to be in motion, the officers 
assembled from their different positions, and the 
Beys, Odjacks, and Agas of Upper Albania, Epirus, 
and Thessaly, were gathered in divan around him. 
Here they conversed and smoked, and here busi- 



ness was transacted. Rayas came to make com- 
plaints, primates to make their obeisance, and bring 
presents — letters were read and written. During 
the morning they would take two or three walks, 
of a few hundred paces, and then suddenly sit 
down again, but always so as to have a point of 
view before them ; indeed, whether on the Bos- 
phorus or the Peneus, on the Caucasus or the 
Pindus, I have seldom heard a Turk expatiate on 
the picturesque, but I have never seen one turn 
his back on a fine view. We were constantly be- 
set with such questions as these — "What is it 
you see so attractive in our mountains ; have you 
no mountains or trees of your own ?" The only 
motive they could understand was, that our coun- 
try was so cultivated, that we could no where enjoy 
the simple and wild beauties of nature. 

Our time was spent between the chief, the 
officers, and the common men. We were now 
become great favourites with all classes. Many of 
the Beys were young men, unassuming, frank, and 
anxious to acquire information. 

But the common soldiers interested us infi- 
nitely more than their leaders ; whenever we ram- 
bled about their bivouacks, we were treated with 
every mark of respect, we were invited to partake 
of their fare, spent many an amusing hour, and 
reckoned several stanch friends amongst them. 
What a contrast with the first night at the Khan 
of Baldouna, and what a subject for reflection, on 


the causes by which events are determined, and on 
the cords, insignificant or invisible, by which men 
are led ! 

As mid-day approached, we usually joined Veli 
Bey in the tent ; a dish was placed on the carpet, 
containing slices of onion, salt fish, or salt cheese, 
prunes, or something else, by way of provocative ; 
a small cup was placed before each, and an attend- 
ant stood behind, with a bottle of raki ; we used 
to remain a full hour earning an appetite, by the 
constant succession of a little of the zest, a few 
whiffs of tobacco, and a sip of raki. Then was 
brought in a round piece of leather, laced up like a 
reticule ; it was spread in the middle, and, as it 
opened, displayed a smoking lamb, cut or torn in 
morsels, with pieces of an excellent flour cake, 
thin and pliable, with which you might delicately 
take hold of the meat, which, from the mode of 
cooking, falls away from the bone with ease. A 
dish of sauce, white as milk, is placed in the centre, 
to dip the first pieces of bread in, as an additional 
appetiser. This sauce is composed of garlic and 
salt cheese, rubbed down in oil and vinegar, and 
slices of onions swimming in it. The lamb was 
followed by a large round pasty of cabbage, or of 
cream, at least three feet in diameter, and three or 
four stews, all excellent, so that we wondered how, 
in such a place, where a human being did not seem 
to be domiciliated, such fare could be procured. 
The wine, strong and generous, circulated during 


dinner as freely as the raki before ; nor ceased, 
till the pipe had fallen from the Bey's mouth, and 
he dropped over asleep on the spot where he sate, 
and, as he lay taking his rest, an attendant drew 
his cloak around him. The afternoon was an 
exact repetition of the former ; in fact, out of one 
day they make two little days, — a plan well 
adapted to the climate, and to their habits, passing 
from indolence to great activity. When not 
aroused to exertion, they force their inclinations 
to obtain a plethoric repose; they excite a ficti- 
tious appetite that they may eat, and eat beyond 
their appetite that they may sleep. I was one 
day complaining of the quantity of salt put in 
every thing, and was answered by the proverb, — 
" If you do not eat salt, how can you drink ; and 
if you do not drink, how can you eat ; and if you do 
not eat, how can you sleep?" But this is a tra- 
veller's remark, and I do not give it as worth more. 

One evening, when at supper in our tent, a 
Tartar arrived from the Grand Vizier, bearing 
despatches for Veli Bey, and announcing the con- 
firmation for life of the monopoly of honours and 
dignities that had been heaped upon him. 

Soon after our return from Milies, a personage 
of greater consideration than the rest appeared in 
the camp ; this was Gench Aga, Tufenkji Bashi of 
the Sadrazem, and governor of Triccala and Mez- 
zovo, and who, as I learned, a year and a half 
afterwards, from himself at Scodra, was the chief 


agent in this plot, in which Veli Bey and Arslan 
Bey were alike the puppets. 

The result of the conference at Milies was, 
that the plunder of Codgana, &c. should be re- 
stored ; the arrears of Arslan Bey's men liqui- 
dated ; that he himself should be absolved, received 
into favour, and that he should accompany Veli 
Bey to Janina. But Arslan Bey had to consult 
his supporters, and, though the principal officers, 
as far as we could judge by the dumb show we had 
seen, seemed perfectly satisfied with these con- 
ditions, he had still to return to his camp to confer 
with the Skipetar. No answer having yet been 
returned when Gench Aga arrived at the camp, he, 
accompanied by our young friend, Abbas Bey, 
went on to the head quarters of Arslan Bey ; 
three or four days passed, and yet they did not 
make their appearance. We joked Veli Bey on 
their being caught by the Klepht : at first he affected 
to laugh heartily at this supposition, but their 
delay soon ceased to be a subject of merriment. 
They did, however, return, and, after a private 
conference with Veli Bey, Gench Aga sent for us, 
and told us, in that decided way, that left us no 
doubt that he had good reasons for what he said, 
and, with that kindness of manner which relieved 
us from all doubts as to his motives, that we must 
allow ourselves to be guided by him in our future 
plans ; that he would make himself responsible for 
our safety, and could afford us an opportunity of 


extending our journey, but we must not remain 
where we were. We expressed our readiness to 
be guided by him : " In that case," he said, " you 
must start with me immediately for Mezzovo. As 
soon as this affair is settled, I will have to send a 
body of horse to Triccala, and thus you will be 
conveyed in safety beyond the sphere of the pre- 
sent struggle." There are some few people in this 
world who have an irresistible way with them ; 
whose ideas are so like reason ; whose words are 
so well chosen ; whose manner is so well calcu- 
lated for producing on the given person the desired 
effect, that there is no objecting, even with a disin- 
clination to agree ; so it was with Gench Aga, and 
never was I more surprised than in finding myself, 
after ten minutes or less conversation with a per- 
fect stranger, busily occupied in making prepara- 
tives for departure from a camp which I had had 
such infinite difficulty to reach, and from a country 
in which, ten minutes before, I had thought my 
rambles only commenced. 






Before bidding adieu to the Skipetar camp, I must 
put together what I gathered from them during 
this short but intimate intercourse, respecting the 
dissipation of the powerful armies that, for six 
successive years, have been poured into Greece, 
without any other result than devastation of the 
continental provinces, loss of life, and exhaustion 
of the Sultan's treasury. 

The domination of Ali Pasha had tended to 
increase the warlike character of the Albanians, 
for, besides the constant activity in which they 
were kept during his reign, he dispossessed a great 
number of landed proprietors, who found an equi- 
valent in military service throughout the whole 
country, from Berat to the Euripus, and beyond 
the Isthmus. On the breaking up of Ali Pasha's 
power, commenced the yearly campaign against 


Greece, affording pay and an employment agreeable 
to their inclinations, to this large mass of irregular 
and independent warriors. 

They frustrated, with Albanian subtlety, every 
measure of the Porte to put an end to the Greek 
war. Missolonghi might, on several occasions, 
have been taken with the greatest ease; but the 
speculation was too profitable, and they termed it 
their saraf, or banker. They managed to cross 
every plan of the Sadrazem ; and, finally, after 
receiving three months' pay in advance, 8000 of 
them abandoned Jusuff Pasha at Loutraki, after 
having attempted to rob the military chest. It 
was on this conjuncture that the Porte reluctantly 
called in the assistance of Mehemet Ali Pasha. 

A calculation of the number of men, their pay, 
and the expenses of the commissariat, may give us 
a distant approximation to the sum expended by 
the Sultan in Albania on account of the Greek 
war. Five expeditions were made : the average 
number of men may be 20,000; they received, 
one with another, fifty piastres per month, from 
the 1st of March O. S., to St. Demitri, the 8th of 
November. Eight months and ejght days (the 
regular Turkish campaign), at the above rate, 
besides extra pay if they remained longer in the 
field, will give a sum of 46,250,000 piastres. The 
commissariat department is generally allowed to 
expend a sum equal to the allowance for pay ; so 
that these five expeditions must have cost the 


Porte above 90,000,000 piastres. Besides these 
armies, there were 10,000 men in constant activity 
as guards of the passes, garrisons of fortresses, 
body-guards of Pashas, Use., whose pay, and other 
expenses, during the same period, may be estimated 
at 60,000,000 piastres.* 

We have allowed in the commissariat expenses 
for the waste and abuse of rations, but we have 
not allowed for the extravagance and malversation 
practised in contracts connected with the com- 
missariat dealings and accounts, in which foreign 
merchants, brokers, bankers, shared the spoil, 
with official purveyors and military commanders. 
It was not till the fourth year of the war, and at 
the suggestion of the present Sadrazem, then 
created Roumeli Valessi, that the Porte commu- 
nicated to the ambassadors a proclamation, by 
which she warned the foreign merchants, that she 
would no longer be answerable for engagements 
entered into with the Pashas. But so well aware 
was the Sultan of this system of peculation, that 
he appointed the most influential of the Janissaries 
to the commissariat department in Albania, as the 
only bait that could decoy them from their body ; 
certain that their detection in some flagrant de- 
linquency would soon give him the right to degrade 
or to banish them, or even to punish them capitally. 

* AH Pasha's 40,000 men cost him as much as 80,000 
French soldiers. The troops under Capo d'Istrias were cal- 
culated, I believe, at three times the cost of English troops. 


This sum of 150,000,000 paid in Machmondies, 
value 25 piastres, or 3 dollars, at the commence- 
ment of the war, would in 1830 represent a value 
at Constantinople of 270,000,000 ; and at Janina, 
of 360,000,000, equal to 3,000,000/. 

Albania, during the war, thus received at least 
2,500,000/. sterling of the Sultan's money, while 
it paid no revenue. The loss of revenue in the 
Peloponnesus, Continental Greece,* during the 
whole war, and in Roumeli, during the first three 
years of the revolution, could scarcely' be less 
than 4,000,000/. The destruction of materiel and 
ships of war (the cost of which is only in part 
defrayed from the public treasury), if capable of 
calculation in money, would probably not fall far 
short of the sum just stated. I think I may there- 
fore set down the cost of the Greek revolution at 
10,000,000/. as positive expense, to a govern- 
ment which receives but the surplus after the local 
budgets are defrayed ; so that the provinces always 
bear more than one-half of the expenses of war. 
To estimate the real value of these ciphers, it 
must be borne in mind, that in Turkey a peasant's 
family can be maintained for 51. ; so that an 

* Greece was supposed to contribute yearly the sum of 
250,000/., as surplus revenue, after paying its civil expenses, as 
tithe applied to support a militia force, and as rent to Osmanli 
proprietors. This alone would give, during the ten years of the 
revolution, 2,500,000Z. ; but I conceive this estimate, perhaps, 
too high, and I am estimating only the loss to the treasury. 


expenditure of 20,000,000/. is equal to the yearly 
support of 20,000,000 of souls. If we take into 
account the difference of habits and price, we shall 
find that the Greek war has cost Turkey a sum 
nearly equivalent to the debt of 120,000,000/. 
bequeathed to us by the war with America. 
Turkey has, at all events, the satisfaction of 
having incurred no debt. 

However desirous the Sultan might be to quell 
the insurrection in Greece, he would not have had 
recourse to Albania, the only part of his empire 
where war was a positive drain on the treasury, 
had he not expected, in subduing Greece, to 
weaken Albania ; and, after these enormous sacri- 
fices, it must be most exasperating to see the 
people, which he sought to reduce, become inde- 
pendent, and the other, which he wishes to weaken, 
rendered more refractory, by the very means 
which he had used against them. 

Since the loufe (pay) of the Sultan has ceased, 
the Albanians have been reduced to the greatest 
straits. The infuriated soldiery held meetings, 
proposed to elect chiefs, and discussed plans, one 
of which was, to seize the whole of the Greeks, 
and sell them for slaves. At that moment the 
Russian war exasperated them against the Greeks. 
The menacing attitude of the Greek regular troops 
detained them from the scene of action on the 
Danube, while the Turkish government, appearing 
on the point of dissolution, could neither interpose 


its authority, nor awe them by the dread of conse- 
quences. Yet, their better feelings being appealed 
to by an able chief, the storm did not then burst, 
and it still hangs suspended ; it is actually reposing 
on the summit of Pindus. 

There is a remarkable similarity between the 
Albanian and the Scotch Highlander. The chief- 
tains, like the Celtic chiefs of old, move about 
with their tails ; pistol in belt, sword by the side, 
and musket over the shoulder. Though not pre- 
cisely divided by name into clans, their cou'sinships 
count as far, and they shew equal devotion to the 
chief whose " bread" or " salt" they eat. Hench- 
men in the field, torch-bearers at their meals, 
endurance of fatigue and privation ; a life passed 
in constant warfare ; their name and costume, par- 
ticularly the fustanel, or kilt; and, though last, 
not least, the minstrels, called by them bardi, 
are features which almost identify them with the 
sons of Albyn. The comparison was always an 
interesting subject of conversation ; and, though 
their respect for England was mixed with a cer- 
tain portion of dread and aversion, they seemed 
proud of the likeness. That shrewdness, which 
a mixture, rather than an acquaintance with man- 
kind, produces, is remarkably developed in both 
people ; as also that love of adventure and spe- 
culation, which scatters these two scanty popu- 
lations, East, West, and South, over the face of 
the earth : with equal love of home, both come 


back again " to the North" to spend the evening 
of their days, and enjoy the savings of their fru- 
gality, and the fruits of their industry. 

The more immediate cause of the growth of the 
Scotch mind, was the rich nourishment it received 
from the literature of England, and the powerful 
implement it possessed in the English language. 
The Albanians equal the Scotch of two centuries 
ago in numbers and enterprise, but surpass what 
they were in regard to the first mental steps which 
a people makes, that is, — a knowledge of geo- 
graphy ; but they have no literature : their own 
language is an unwritten language. The Turkish 
is the only vehicle of instruction, and Turkish lite- 
rature, the only means of civilisation open to the 
Albanian, as to so many Mussulman tribes scatter- 
ed over Africa and Asia. That language, so rich 
in its tones, so philosophical in its structure, has 
been, however, unfortunately rendered most cum- 
bersome in use, by the imitation of Arabic and 
Persian, and under the action of the policy and 
opinion of Europe/Turkish literature has disdained 
to borrow from us. 

The future growth of civilisation and well- 
being in Albania, as in Bokhara, Tartary, Cir- 
cassia, Kurdistan, &c, must depend on the tran- 
quillity of the East by the consolidation of the 
Ottoman empire, and on the character of the ideas, 
which, from Constantinople, that centre of the 
Eastern world, may be spread both far and near ; 


when the " Penny Magazine," or some such work, 
published in vulgar Turkish, will form packages on 
the camel backs of the Khiva caravans, and load 
the Tartars to Janina and Scodra. 

I quitted these wild people with a feeling of 
regret, and cannot help looking back to them with 
more than interest. From almost every one with 
whom I had come in contact, I had experienced 
kindness, to many I was indebted for hospitality. 
I had derived much instruction from them respect- 
ing those things of which I had made it my busi- 
ness to inquire ; and many of my then most 
cherished opinions had been suggested by my 
intercourse with them. The East, after this ex- 
cursion, seemed less a chaos than it had appeared 

The drama which I have related, and the san- 
guinary conclusion, of which I have yet to relate, 
might be taken for proof of a reckless spirit of 
adventure, that no art could tame, and power 
alone could moderate. However, I do not take 
such to be the case. These combinations affect 
the chiefs, not the mass of the nation ; and it is 
precisely the subordination of the men to their 
immediate chiefs, that gives to them the means of 
playing the important parts which we have seen. 
These chiefs are easily to be managed, if handled 
with dexterity : the events of that, as other Eastern 
lands, resemble a game of chess, where skill and 
science do not consist in the direction of force, 


out where ability resides in the intimate knowledge 
of the inherent qualities of the instruments, success 
depending on the relative positions in which these 
are placed. 

Let us contrast, for a moment, the civil war in 
Spain with the war in Albania. In the former 
country, you have a party attacking the govern- 
ment, because their notions of right and wrong 
are in opposition to those of another party of 
their fellow citizens ; and that opposition is so 
deep and reckless, that all that men hold dear 
is staked on the struggle to which it gives rise. 
What deep feelings of animosity between man and 
man are here evinced ! How, as compared with 
the East, must be weakened in the national mind 
those feelings of respect for moral right and legi- 
timate authority, which are the only real guaran- 
tees of private integrity or of political union ! As 
a natural consequence of a struggle springing from 
such sources, you have unpitying bloodthirstiness 
in the victor, and reckless contempt of life in the 
vanquished. The captured Royalist expects no 
favour at the hand of a successful antagonist; 
and, consequently, bares his breast with indifference 
to his fate, exulting at the vengeance which his 
comrades will take. 

In the Albanian struggle, who ever heard of 
the execution of a vanquished foe ? A foe van- 
quished, and in the power of the victor, not being 
an object of hatred and dread in consequence of 

VOL. I. t 


principles which he entertains, is neither attainted 
as a traitor, nor executed as a rebel ; and you 
never see the vengeance of the government fall, 
except upon those whom its power cannot directly 
reach. The most notorious rebels, after beingr 
deprived, by defeat, of the influence they possessed, 
have been spared by the arm of the law ; and the 
government, so far from dreading the effects of its 
moderation, proclaimed throughout the empire the 
words of the Sultan to the rebel Pasha of Bagdad, 
• — " Pardon is the tithe of victory! " * 

But a European will exclaim — if Easterns do 
not contend for political principles, it is because 
they are not yet civilised — what is it that divides 
Spain ? The Biscayans resist the suppression of 
the self election of the municipal authorities ; the 
government enforces it : the Biscayans resist the 
suppression, by custom-houses, of the freedom of 
their markets ; the government insists on its sup- 
pression : the Biscayans demand the enjoyment of 
rights established by capitulation and proscription ; 
the government takes these rights away; and, these 
differences existing, the pretext for the struggle is 
the succession of the crown. 

If the Biscayans had been subjects of Turkey, 
no revolt could have taken place ; for each of 
those principles, maintained by the Biscayans, is 
adopted by the Ottoman government. The Otto- 

* Meaning the share of the spoil which belonged to the state. 


man constitution places the supreme authority in 
a lofty position ; but has circumscribed its power, 
and debars it from interfering with customs. These 
checks, which we have not well comprehended, 
have maintained that authority, during six centuries, 
as an unvarying point of union, and as an object of 
universal veneration. Turkey entertains no pro- 
ject hostile to a foreign state ; grants freedom of 
commerce and jurisdiction in its territory to 
foreign nations. Such a government ought, doubt- 
less, to be considered an excellent neighbour. 
This people has, however, been the victim of 
false opinion, which has excited against it wars, 
combinations, and hatred. Each, by turns, of 
all the populations submitted to its sway, has 
been excited to sedition by dark processes and 
powerful means. Wounded, weakened, disheart- 
ened, and exasperated, by a combination, so un- 
christian, of all Christendom, it has still lived on, 
where ten European governments must have been 
irretrievably lost. The sources of this existence, 
where are they to be found ? From Friar Bacon * 
to Count Sebastiani, the churchmen and the states- 
men of Europe have pronounced the political 
empire of Islamism extinguished. The reason is, 

* Friar Bacon read the prophetic number 666 as applying 
to Islamism, and announced its immediate downfal. That 
prophetic writer, Mr. Forster, thinks he was not very far wrong, 
for, about that period, the Turk, Alp Arslan, overthrew the 
Caliphate ! 

T 2 


that the characters of its life are different from 
those of our political existence, and have not been 
inquired into or understood by us. 

The Porte has had no standing army ; it has 
possessed none of those institutions, and but a 
small portion of the power through which our 
Western systems exist; and, having only self- 
government, Turkey is supposed, year after year, 
to be on the very point of dissolution. But that 
which leads us into error is the very reason why 
the cry of liberty is not there a sound of terror ; 
why the voice of faction and the whisper of principle 
are alike unheard ; why religious differences do 
not lead to religious struggle ; and why the defence, 
even by arms, of local habits and interests, is not 







After very tender adieus from Veli Bey, and the 
Albanian chiefs and soldiers, we proceeded south- 
ward, and upwards through the mountain glen ; and, 
after an hour's ride, suddenly came upon Mezzovo, 
a town of 1000 houses, hung on the steep side of a 
mountain, separated from mounts Zygos and Pro- 
sillion by two deep ravines, whence the river of 
Arta takes its source. On the road, we were let 
into the secret of Veli Bey's excellent kitchen. It 
was near noon, and we met two troops of women, 
who, from their black clothing, and still more 
sombre aspect, seemed funereal convoys. The de- 
funct was a ready roasted sheep, fixed upon a stake, 
which two of them bore upon their shoulders : 
others followed with divers dishes, pasties, and pans ; 
behind, a greater number tottered under 4000 okes 
of bread, exacted daily from the town for rations. 


We took Gench Aga for an ultra and an un- 
compromising Turk ; but his sedulous attention to 
every thing that regarded our safety and comfort, 
soon placed his character in its true light, however 
little credit we were, at the time, inclined to give 
his countrymen for civility or humanity. But, ac- 
customed as we had now become to a different sort 
of treatment in the Albanian camp, we felt quite 
shocked and indignant at falling down again to the 
level of Franks. 

Notwithstanding the approaching accommoda- 
tion, we perceived the Aga was in a state of the 
greatest anxiety. All the cattle having been con- 
cealed in the mountains, he could procure no 
horses to transport provisions to the castle, and the 
troops at Janina. While we were with him, a couple 
of secretaries were constantly employed in reading 
and writing letters and buyourdis ; and we now 
more than ever perceived the extent of the danger 
that menaced the whole country. 

Mezzovo, one of the most important, perhaps 
the most important, pass of all Roumeli, situated 
amidst such natural defences, having so large a 
population of armed Greeks, with little landed pos- 
sessions, had been hitherto singularly respected and 
peculiarly favoured. We now found it in a state of 
the utmost panic and alarm ; every door not occu- 
pied by troops was barricaded, and apprehension 
was deeply imprinted on every countenance ; the 
sheep, cattle, and horses, were dispersed and hidden 


among the rocks. The town was occupied by the 
troops of a Turkish Binbashi, by those of Gench 
Aga, and by those belonging to the municipality. 
On the road to Milies, to the north, were the 
troops of Arslan Bey ; to the west, those of Veli 
Bey ; to the east, those of the Greek captains, 
Gogo and Liacatas, were engaged in a separate 
war, contending for the Capitanato of Radovich. 

We looked down on the springs of the Aracthus, 
flowing into the Gulf of Arta, separated by a single 
ridge from the urn of the Achelous, which empties 
itself into the Ionian Sea. Another ridge separated 
this vale from the fountains of the Aous, which, 
winding to the north, falls into the Adriatic. On 
the eastern side of the same mountain, the Peneus 
takes its rise : and the streamlet which we followed 
from Veli Bey's camp falls into the Haliacmon, 
flowing east and north into the Gulf of Salonica. 

We could obtain but little information, in 
answer to our inquiries from a population ab- 
sorbed in complications no less alarming than be- 
wildering ; yet, strange to say, at such a moment 
as this they were occupied with repairing one of 
their schools. It is incredible how ardent and 
universal among the Greeks is the desire of instruc- 
tion ; and how, in the wildest spots that man has 
chosen for a habitation or a refuge, we have con- 
stantly found tokens of an intellectual existence 
and descent, aspirations after an ideal state — a 
sort of political millennium — which they personify 


with all the fertility of their imagination, and wor- 
ship with all the timorousness of their servility. 

No answer arriving from Arslan Bey, we deter- 
mined on setting forward immediately, without wait- 
ing for the detachment. Ten men and a captain, 
the most savage-like travelling companions it had as 
yet been my lot to fall in with, were given us as an 
escort : before we had been half an hour on the 
road, the captain began to treat us with the utmost 
insolence ; and, receiving a rebuke unaccustomed 
from a Giaour, he stopped with his men ; hut after 
appearing to remain some time in consultation, 
they followed us. We pushed on to overtake some 
Greeks belonging to Gogo. We had scarcely 
reached them, when they quitted the road and took 
to the hills ; their appearance and manner were, 
however, not much more inviting than that of the 
party we had hoped to leave. We were now wind- 
ing up the steep ridge of the highest chain of the 
Pindus, the most dangerous part of the road. The 
place was full of broken rocks, from behind which 
sure aim could be taken ; and we were surrounded 
by banditti that knew no chief, and were fighting 
among themselves, who wanted neither opportunity, 
inclination, nor a sense of impunity. 

It being impossible either to halt or to return, 
we trusted to Kismet and went on. Presently we 
perceived a captain, with some mounted men, fol- 
lowing us. Taking them to be of a higher caste, 
we slackened our pace till they came up, and, after 


the customary salutations, we proceeded together. 
In scrambling up the rock, his horse passed that of 
our servant, who seemed by no means disposed to 
allow himself to be thus shoved out of the narrow 
path : the captain turned round upon him, calling 
him pezeveng and kerata, and was answered in the 
same complimentary style. One man was close to 
the captain. One of us returned to support the 
servant ; and in a moment formed the most inter- 
esting partie carree imaginable, each with a cocked 
pistol in one hand, and a knife or a dagger in the 
other. The captain's men, a little higher up ; and 
our men, who were now close to us below, on 
the first movement, unslung their guns, dropped 
down behind the stones, and lay with their pieces 
levelled on the group in the centre ; which stood 
up to their full height, watching each other's eyes. 
Seeing the pause, the chief of our guard, from 
whom we were endeavouring to escape, rushed 
forward and interposed ; the weapons were gra- 
dually lowered, then put up, and we marched on 
as if nothing had happened, passed over the sharp 
ridge, and descended to the Khan close to it on the 
other side. It was only there that we began to 
think how romantic a fate had been ours, had our 
funereal lotion been fresh poured from the urn of 
Peneus, and our turf decked by the Dryads of 

There was something very business-like in the 
sudden drop of the men behind the stones : fami- 


liar practice was marked in the first alertness, and 
the subsequent indifference. This incident illus- 
trated the advantage, in this world, of having 
foes. Our escort, from whom we were endeavour- 
ing to escape, and who entertained towards us, 
while we had no need of their aid, no more friendly 
feelings than we to them, now instantly proposed 
to risk their lives in our defence, and to send their 
bullets through their countrymen's hearts for our 

At the Khan we found ourselves in a most 
beautiful situation ; the summits were covered by 
lofty beech, straight as arrows, dropped, like plum- 
met lines, on the inclined sward. This was the finest 
timber of its kind I ever saw ; in the lower part 
there is nothing to be compared to it. These lofty 
trees shut out the view of the plains to the east, 
and left our confined echappees embellished but by 
the trees themselves, glaring lights and deep shade, 
cool breezes and crystal springs, amid glassy rocks 
of every hue. The Klefts, collected round the 
Khan, chiefly deserters from Gench Aga, might 
have delighted the spirit of a Salvator Rosa ; but 
we at the time paid but little attention to the pic- 
turesque of the landscape, or to the romance of 
the figures in the foreground. We looked at the 
cover they had at every point ; we marked every 
inquisitive glance cast on our baggage, our arms, 
and our persons. We, too, were Tartars in our 
way, and might have passed for cousins of Ro- 


binson Crusoe, our clothes torn by thorns and 
thickets, with a pistol, a dagger, or a knife, ap- 
pearing from each pocket-hole. We were deli- 
berating whether we should advance, or barricade 
ourselves within the Khan for the night, when a 
detachment of the cavalry of Gench Aga galloped 
up, inquiring loudly for us. Subsequently to our de- 
parture, learning the state of the road, he had sent 
on these, in all haste, to accompany us to Triccala. 

In two hours we accomplished our descent to 
the Khan of Malacassi. This place, an agglomera- 
tion of dilapidated houses, was on the side of the 
hill beyond the Peneus. The Khan, like all those 
of Albania, was a filthy, dark, ruined building in the 
style of Ali Pasha, the small door bolted, barred, 
and barricaded ; the little grated window secured 
the cage of the prisoner within, who, on receiving 
his paras, dealt out garlic, salt, cheese, olives, and 
sometimes resinous wine and raki. The wind blew 
fresh, and the dust and sun compelled us to beg 
admission of the Khanji, a favour readily granted 
to the arzva., " tight" or Frank dress. Some black 
barley bread, hot from the ashes, garnished a 
dirty board ; the sofra was placed before us, with 
a broken platter of coarse brown ware in the 
centre, like the saucer of a flower-pot, on which 
slices of onions and black olives swam in oil and 
vinegar. I know not whether the art of the Thes- 
salian equalled that of the Mantuan Thyestes ; but 


that day, and the next, often did I exclaim, " O 
dura alvanitorurn ilia ! " 

We had still seven hours to the monasteries, 
called Meteora, and we were obliged to hurry on. 
The road was now flat, through or on either side 
of the stony and large bed of the Peneus ; we left 
the rampart-like Pindus behind ; the hills to the 
right and left lowered and opened as we pro- 
ceeded. On the higher parts the red earth ap- 
peared through a sprinkling of dark shrubs, the 
lower and level parts of the valley shewed 'but the 
pallid yellow of the withered grass ; and, eager as I 
was to catch and improve every charm, I must 
confess it, " minor fama :" still along the stream, 
wherever the platan us had been spared to gather 
around it freshness and beauty, spots did appear, 
shewing the paradise this country might become. 
Across the opening of the hills we saw rising before 
us a broken line of cliffs ; on these are seated the 
monasteries of the Meteora. These cliffs, at first, 
seemed as one united rock ; but, when the declin- 
ing sun shone along it, throwing the light behind 
those columnar masses, and their shadows against 
the adjoining pinnacles, the strange group ap- 
peared, in bold relief, like a gigantic bunch of 
prismatic crystals. 

At two hours' distance from the Meteora, we 
were astonished to see what seemed an entire 
population in the open fields : men and women, 


infirm and aged, with infants and children, were 
lying or sitting on heaps of baggage ; asses, mules, 
a few sheep, dogs, and even cats, were wander- 
ing through and around them. Being pressed for 
time, we hurried by ; but, on inquiring afterwards, 
we learnt that they were the inhabitants of Cli- 
novo, one of the most flourishing burghs of the 
Pindus, which had been pillaged the day before by 
Liacatas, the Greek captain, in revenge of his 
expulsion from Radovich ; and, after pillaging it, he 
had set it on fire, over the heads of the wretched 

We seemed close to the monasteries, but it was 
night before we reached their base, round which 
we had to wind and clamber amid the colossal ruins 
of rocks ; — now in the gloom of caverns and over- 
hanging precipices, now seeing the stars glitter 
through the openings of what appeared continuous 
cliffs. Never have I seen a spot so calculated to 
inspire superstitious awe ; — even ascetics and 
cenobites savour too much of earth for such an 
abode, fit only for a Sibyl's trances, or the orgies of 
a Thessalian saga. The traveller who wishes to 
enjoy their effect, should visit them by night : for 
this purpose, instead of turning off to the right to 
Calabaka, we pushed on to the cliffs, though at the 
risk of spending a supperless night on the bare 

On arriving below a monastery, we strained 


our lungs, and exerted our eloquence in prayers 
to be hoisted up, but breath and tropes were 
alike unavailing: a basket, however, with a light 
and some homely fare, came whirling down. Next 
morning a net was let down ; it was spread on the 
ground, and we were placed on it on a capote, our 
legs, arms, and heads, properly stowed away, the 
net gathered round us, and hitched on to a massive 
hook. " All 's right," was shouted out from below ; 
the monks began to heave round with the capstan 
bars above, and gusts of wind made us spin round, 
and thump against the rock in a majestically slow 
ascent of 150 feet. When arrived at the top, we 
were hauled in like a bale of goods in a Liverpool 
warehouse ; and, the net being let go, we found 
ourselves loose on the floor, and were immediately 
picked up by the monks. 

The monastery and monks resembled all other 
Greek monasteries and monks ; the first filthy and 
straggling, the second ignorant and timorous. I re- 
collect but one object that particularly struck me; — 
the chambers of the Turkish state prisoners ; for 
Ali Pasha, reviving the tyranny of old, had con- 
verted these recluses into jailors, and their retreat 
into a dungeon, as under the Greek emperors. 
They have a small library, containing, with some 
Fathers and rituals, classics and translations of mo- 
dern authors, Rollin, for instance. I searched for 
MSS. and found a few, but they were all polemical. 


The monks confessed themselves ignorant and bar- 
barous, but they spurned the idea of having made 
use of their MSS. to heat their oven. 

We were again slung in the net, and lowered 
amongst mortals. This was the monastery of 
Barlam.* We crossed over some rocks, and found 
ourselves below the principal monastery, called 
Meteoron. A basket was sent down, and in it we 
deposited our teskere from Gench Aga, which was 
hoisted up, inspected, and permission granted for 
our ascent. We were, as before, stowed in a net, and 
the monks going briskly to work, we were hauled 
chuck up against the block, and then let down by 
the run, in the midst of an expectant circle of 
warriors and priests. It was fete day, and several 
of the captains from the neighbouring mountains 
had repaired to the monastery, with the threefold 
purpose of performing their devotions, making a 
good dinner, and discussing the Protocol, of which 
we were become both sick and tired, and to which, 
on leaving the Albanian camp, we thought we had 
bidden a final adieu. Words cannot tell the delight 
of our new acquaintances, as they unslung us 
from the hook, and opened us out of the package, 
at this unexpected importation from Europe. Two 
reams of foolscap, or two bales of parchment, filled 
with Protocols, could scarcely have delighted more 
their eyes ■ and hardly had we got upon our legs 

* Founded bv the Russian Patriarch of that name. 


when we were subjected to a strict examination as 
to the contents, character, and date of the expected 
budget, as if they had been custom-house-officer 
harpies, overhauling a ship's manifest, or a travel- 
ler's carpet bag. Immense was their dissatisfaction 
when we informed them, that we contained no new 
Protocol, and that we were not come to the Meteora 
to plant there the demarcation posts. We, on our 
side, were perfectly bewildered at the consequences 
and effects of a document drawn up in Downing 
Street, and were infinitely flattered by this indica- 
tion of the power our country possessed. We 
dined, and spent the greater part of the day with 
these people ; and left Meteoron perfectly surprised 
at all we had heard on a subject which we believed 
quite foreign to the country we had entered. 

The Greeks, throughout this part of the country, 
were perfectly convinced that the limits were to be 
at the berdar, that is to say, at Salonica ; and that 
the condition upon which the Allied Powers were 
to grant them this frontier was, that they were not 
to interfere in any way, either by connecting them- 
selves with the movements in Greece, or by assist- 
ing the Turks against the Albanians. When we 
told them that that was all nonsense, they broke 
out into violent recrimination, pointed out the 
facility with which, during the Russian war, the 
limits of Greece might have been extended as far 
as the Meteoron ; and, at the present period, the 
advantages which the Greeks might obtain by join- 


ing the Grand Vizir against the Albanians, and 
the necessity of their doing so for self-preservation ; 
that they had sacrificed all to the will, and by the 
orders, of the Alliance ; and they now had a right 
to the fulfilment of the conditions promised on its 
part. We were, for a while, very much amazed at 
all this; we assured them we had never heard of 
any thing of the kind, and that the limits positively 
were to be at the Aspropotamos, that the Acarna- 
nians even were excluded, and that the Greek 
troops daily expected to be ordered to abandon the 
Makronoros. We then inquired what the source 
had been of such an opinion, — a question which 
produced considerable confusion ; they looked at 
each other without answering ; but, after some fur- 
ther discussion, and the repetition of circumstances 
which could leave no doubt as to the truth of our 
assertions, a scene of mutual and violent recrimi- 
nation took place between the captains and the 
priests, and we discovered that agents had spread 
throughout this country the conviction that the 
Alliance would make the Verdar the limits of 
Greece, if the Greeks of those countries desisted 
from supporting the Porte against the Albanians. 
The priests had been made the channels through 
which these views were disseminated, and the mo- 
nastery in which we were, probably, had been the 
focus of these intrigues. But while the captains 
reproached the priests for having deceived them, 
and recalled all the suspicions they had expressed 
vol. i. u 


of the Corfiote Capodistrias, and the objections 
which they had then urged, the priests asserted 
that they had been made innocent victims, which is 
probably true ; but they also asserted what was 
more doubtful, namely, that Capodistrias must 
have been deceived, and made a tool of by the 
Alliance. They soon became, however, more bitter 
than the captains, and one of them declared, that 
not only should he consider it a holy deed to rid 
their country of such a traitor, but that he himself, 
if he were certain that Capodistrias had not been 
himself deceived, would kill him with his own hand. 
Here it was, that the full connexion of this intricate 
and confused question flashed across us, that we 
understood the game of Capodistrias, and the 
authorship of the Protocol. 

The earliest recorded establishment of these 
monasteries is by Youssuf, a Bulgarian despot of 
Thessaly, who abdicated on the approach of 
Turkhan Bey. Thomas of Epirus had also ex- 
changed his ducal coronet for an abbot's mitre ; 
and on the establishment of the Turkish sway, 
the Greeks of the provinces, as of the capital, 
transferred to their spiritual pastors the pompous 
designations of their temporal rulers : thus the 
bishops of the x Greek church are now called 

This singular group of rocky pinnacles on which 
the Meteora are seated is formed of a conglomerate 
of crystalline rocks. Instead of being perishable, 


and the monasteries being menaced with destruction 
by their fall, these pinnacles must have remained 
nearly in the state in which the Deluge left them.* 
As we retired from these meteoric altars and 
abodes, we turned constantly round to wonder 
at, and admire, the strange exhibition of pinnacles, 
precipices, clefts, and caverns, surrounding us on 
all sides, and changing, in their combinations and 
effects, like the scenes in a theatre. On their 
summits, the various monasteries displayed their 
grotesque forms : a mass of rock had slipped down 
from one of the cliffs and carried away a monas- 
tery ; but a portion of the painted cupola of a 
chapel still hung attached to the precipice. In 
the higher part of a lofty cavern (a state prison 
under the Greek emperors,) scaffoldings are fixed, 
one above the other, at some eighty or a hundred 
feet from the ground, inhabited by refugees from 
the plain. Holes and large horizontal caves, that 
appeared on the perpendicular faces of the rocks, 
were tenanted in the same manner : some looked 
like handsome houses, with regular landing-places, 
windows, and projecting balconies ; the smaller and 
meaner ones were shut in with basket-work, with 
a hole to enter by : these are reached by curious 
ladders formed of pieces of wood, of two feet 

* Pieces have been split off by frost, and lie all around. A 
monastery or two has thus fallen, but the character of the whole 
is unchanged. 



in length, bolted into each other by the transverse 
steps. In the lower caves, these ladders, which 
hang like chains, are pulled entirely up ; where 
the ascent is longer (some of them are two hun- 
dred feet), a rope is made fast to the bottom of 
the ladder, which they pull up fifteen or twenty 
feet from the ground ; and, when they are pulling 
up or letting down several of these ladders at 
once, they make a strange clattering noise. The 
caves, in one place, are arranged in stories, one 
communication ladder being made to serve for 
several habitations. 

Winding round the tallest of these pinnacles, 
which may be 1000 feet in height, and the summit 
of which looks like a crouching lion, we came in 
sight of the plain of Triccala. On our right was 
the Peneus ; on our left, the village of Calabaka, 
overshadowed by the reverse of the rocks of the 
Meteora, which on this side assumed a hilly and 
rounded aspect. Around us were extensive planta- 
tions of mulberry-trees ; and before us, at a dis- 
tance in the plain, appeared the towers of Triccala. 
On the left, a line of low naked hills stretched from 
Calabaka towards Triccala ; and on the right, the 
Pindus rose abruptly from the plain, and, stretching 
to the south-east, was lost in the distance and the 
mistiness of excessive heat. 

As we approached Triccala we were much 
pleased with the appearance of activity, comfort, 
and prosperity, that reigned around — with the 


peaceable, civilised, and, if I may say, burgher-like 
demeanour of every individual we met. What a 
contrast with our late friends! We were, above 
all things, rejoiced to see the tracks of wheels — 
a gratification somewhat diminished by the sight 
of the unwieldy machines by which they had been 
produced. A no less rare sight were stacks of 
straw, under some splendid trees, near the entrance 
of the town, which, scattered amid groves and 
gardens, looked smiling, like every thing else, 
with the exception of the assemblage of ruined 
and diversified towers, once a castle of some im- 
portance, which frown from a hillock in the centre 
of the place. 

We were met by three women, who stopped 
us, questioned us, and welcomed us to their town : 
one was a negress, one a Turkish, and one a Greek 
woman. " It is long," said the latter, " since our 
eyes have looked upon a Frank, and since then we 
have seen nothing but misery and fear; but now 
we shall see good times again since you are come 
amongst us." 

We dismounted at the residence of Gench Aga, 
and were most courteously received by his nephew 
and Vekil, who had even sent men to meet us 
at the Meteora. He treated us (to preserve the 
epithets which I then used) with all the observ- 
ances of European politeness, and the sedulousness 
of European urbanity. He refused to look at our 
Firmans, remarking, that it would be his greatest 


pleasure, and not as a duty, that he would serve 
us in every thing we pleased to command. The 
governor's residence was composed of two large 
Serai's, occupying two opposite sides of a quad- 
rangle ; along one of the remaining sides, horses 
were stalled ; ammunition and baggage wagons 
were arranged in the other ; in the centre, 
artillerymen were going through their exercises 
with a couple of field - pieces ; wheelwrights, 
armourers, and blacksmiths, were at work in 
various directions ; and every where there was 
an air of bustle and activity, which seemed by 
no means Turkish. In these martial preparations, 
we could distinguish the finger of our veteran 
friend ; but, in the respectful attitude and de- 
meanour of the lowest menial towards us, we 
thought we could trace the radical principles of 
his polished nephew. 

We staid a few days at Triccala, to make the 
acquaintance of the principal Turks. Gradually the 
habits of the country were growing over us : things 
became more easy and less strange, we therefore 
felt more at home, and became less industrious in 
taking notes. The only record of our sojourn at 
Triccala, which I find in my journal, is as follows : 
" The collector of the Charatch told us, that a 
few years ago there were in this district twelve 
thousand Charatch Papers, and that now there were 
only five thousand. We inquired what had be- 
come of the others. He answered, • Oh, they are 


a wicked race, and prefer ranging the hills, with a 
loaded pistol in their belt, and empty tobacco 
pouches, to industrious labour.' The opinions of 
the principal Turks, with regard to all matters of 
public interest, were much the same as elsewhere ; 
and here there is no difference of opinion, in con- 
sequence of difference of grades. At Triccala 
there were no Janissaries ; and the remainder of 
the population, whether pasha or porter, have the 
same feelings, and may change places, without 
violation of propriety or custom." 

We were not disappointed, on further acquaint- 
ance with Skender EfFendi (the nephew of Gench 
Aga). With the enthusiasm of a young man, and 
the zeal of a political neophyte, he was full of the 
magnificent results of the new system ; and though 
a stranger's eye is little fitted to seize changes and 
ameliorations, amid the scenes of so many tragic 
events, still the confidence which seemed restored 
to all those with whom we conversed, and the 
hopes which animated them, were proofs, and, I 
may almost say, were portions of an improvement 
neither doubtful nor unimportant. On taking 
leave of Skender EfFendi, he said, " Spare us in 
your Journal ; forget what you have seen amiss ; 
and, if you speak of Triccala, say that we are 
anxious to perform as much of our duty as we 
have yet learnt." 

From Triccala to Larissa is twelve hours. 
There being nothing of interest on the road across 


the plain, and the heat excessive, we determined 
on travelling during the night ; but my companion 
being indisposed, was knocked up, and we were 
obliged to stop at Zarco, a village in ruins half- 
way. We passed abundant sources of water, 
springing from the foot of the marble rocks. From 
near this place an irregular, but apparently con- 
tinuous chain, appearing like islets (and the plain 
like a lake become solid), runs across to the neigh- 
bourhood of Thaumaco, and separates the plain 
of Triccala from those of Larissa and Pharsalia. 
Here we rested for the remainder of the night. 
In the morning we procured a wagon, with buf- 
faloes, for my companion to follow at a stately 
pace, while I proceeded with the menzil. The 
road, to within three miles of Larissa, rises and 
falls; the country is neither plain nor mountain; 
the Salembria (Peneus) accompanies the road in 
a tortuous bed, with steep sandy banks ; it is 
not more than twelve or fifteen yards across, 
sluggish, muddy, and overhung with bushes ; and 
sometimes the prettiest parts might be compared 
to the Charwell, though I must assert the supe- 
riority of the academic over the classic stream. 
I crossed it in a punt near a deserted village. 
Farther on, a rising ground was covered with Turk- 
ish tombstones, pieces of columns, and other Hel- 
lenic remains. This was the site of Old Larissa. 
Soon afterwards I came in sight of the long-looked- 
for " Larissae campus opimse," extending to the base 


of Olympus and Ossa. The numerous minarets of 
Yenicher rose and glittered above an oasis of trees 
and verdure in the midst of a plain of sand ; for the 
stubble and withered grass gave that appearance to 
these fertile but naked fields, under a mid-day and 
scorching sun, without a breath of air or a cloud 
to relieve the brightness or the heat, except those 
heaped on Olympus, and veiling its sacred head. 

The brother of Sarif Aga, Charatch collector, 
had given us a letter of introduction to him, and 
directed us to go straight to his house, and put up 
there. We met him, however, unfortunately, on 
his way to Triccala, in a lumbering vehicle they 
call a cotci, drawn by four horses, with two out- 
riders. A very poor Konak was assigned us. We 
went to call upon the Archbishop, a worthy and 
intelligent old man, who regretted that he could 
not ask us to his house, but said that if we com- 
plained with sufficient energy of that we had got, 
they might send us to him. On making our com- 
plaint, several others were found for us, and to 
each as they were offered, we had an objection 
ready ; at last, much apparently against their will, 
they sent to the Archbishop, begging he would 
excuse them if they requested him to admit the 
English Bey-Zades. He affected to appear rather 
disconcerted, but since it was the order of the 
Kehaya Bey, he could but obey : when the cavash 
was gone he gave us a hearty welcome. 




There is something wonderfully ideal in the aspect 
of Thessaly. In its naked plains there 'are no 
details to intercept the vision. Amid the repose 
and silence that reign around, the tones of the 
past come back upon the ear more thrilling and 
distinct than on any other theatre, of great, remote, 
and diversified events. With the exception of 
Attica, there is no region, of similar extent, so rich 
in historic and poetic interest ; but Thessaly has 
not been vulgarised by frequentation and by fami- 
milar events. The dust from the footsteps of ages 
lies there undisturbed ; and, as I reached its silent 
plains from the lofty regions of the Pindus, filled 
with agitation and strife, I seemed to have de- 
scended to a valley of tombs, recently opened up 
to human eyes, where the mind is brought into 
immediate contact with the men whose ashes they 
contain, and the great whose deeds they record. 

All around the horizon range mountain chains, 
the names of which are dear to the muses, — the 
Pindus, (Eta, Pelion, Ossa, and Olympus. On the 


heights to the south were the primeval abodes of 
the Pelasgi ; on the plains below arose the earliest 
battlements of Hellas. Thessaly gave birth to na- 
vigation and horsemanship : here the first coins 
were struck ; here was the art of healing first 
worshipped ; and here repose the ashes of Hippo- 
crates. The land where rises the throne of Jupiter 
— where is spread the vale of the muses — where 
the battle of the Giants and the Gods was fought, 
must be the cradle of mythology, and the birth- 
place of poetry. Here were naturalised the earliest 
legends of the East in the fable of Deucalion and 
Pyrrha ; and hence departed Achilles and his Do- 
lopes to feed the vulture on the Trojan plain, and 
to bequeath to future times the grand realities of 
the Homeric verse. 

But what names succeed to these ! Xerxes, 
Leonidas, Philip, Alexander, Philip III., Flaminius, 
Caesar and Pompey, Brutus and Octavius. Of 
how many, remote and mighty people, have the 
destinies been decided on these ensanguined plains! 
But for 2000 years Thessaly seems to have 
lived only in the recollection of the past. During 
this long period, the proverbial richness of her 
soil has lain dormant in her breast ; no cities 
have arisen in splendour, nor have hamlets reposed 
in peace : no warrior has started forth to affix the 
emblems of her power on stranger lands ; no bard 
has appeared to paint her beauty or to sing her 
triumphs. Two thousand years ago learned an- 


tiquaries disputed the site of her ancient cities, 
and the names of her ruins ; * since then, no struc- 
tures have arisen to perplex, with more recent 
vestiges, the traveller who seeks to discover where 
Hellas, Pheras, or Demetrias, stood. 

The more immediate cause of the desola- 
tion of Thessaly, from the period that the Roman 
empire began to lose its energy, was the vicinity, 
on the north and west, of mountains rilled with 
a wild and armed population ; which, when the 
Roman legions were withdrawn, and the pro- 
consular fasces ceased to inspire respect, spread 
themselves over the champaign country, and re- 
tired with their booty to their inaccessible moun- 
tains, before succour could be sent, or vengeance 
taken. These mountaineers to the west were the 
Albanians, and the description I have given of the 
race of the present times may be equally appli- 
cable to that period. But a more powerful and 
formidable population subsequently occupied the 
mountains to the north ; and after nearly 800 years 
of continual collision with the Eastern Empire, 
finally rendered it an easy prey to the Turkish 
conqueror. These were the Sclavonians, or Rus- 
sians, the principal tribes of which have remained to 
the present day under the name of 'Bosnians, Ser- 
vians, Bulgarians, and Croatians. The establishment 

* Strabo is not quite certain whether Hellas was a city or a 


of these northern hordes in such strong positions, 
and in the very centre of the Eastern Empire, 
broke its power, and rendered it incapable of pro- 
tecting its subjects. Thessaly was the first to 
suffer from this weakness, because immediately 
exposed, without the defence of distance, or the 
protection of mountains, to their incursions. The 
plains of Thessaly were thus kept, during a space 
of 1200 years, close cropped ; its unwarlike and 
spiritless population dreading the very appearance 
of prosperity and well-being, so likely to call down 
ruin upon their heads. 

When the Turkish conqueror appeared in 
Europe, the state of things was changed. The 
Ottomans were a nomad and warlike, not a po- 
lished, population ; but they were possessed of sim- 
plicity and integrity ; they were subordinate to one 
authority, and acted upon one regular and uniform 
system. Their position in Europe, from the few- 
ness of their numbers, could only depend upon the 
conciliation of adverse interests : and even before 
the capture of Constantinople, the organisation 
of Greek Armatoles, or military colonists, from 
Olympus to the Pindus, from the Pindus to Acar- 
nania, is an indication of a comprehensiveness of 
system, and of at once an energetic resolution of 
controlling the wilder population on the west and 
north, and of protecting Thessaly from their ra- 
vages. How much this policy served to smooth 
the way to the conquest of Constantinople, by 


conciliating the affections of the Greeks, may 
become an interesting illustration of the history of 
the Ottomans, when they find an historian who 
combines a profound acquaintance with the insti- 
tutions and the feelings of the East, with the 
analytical spirit and the method of the West. 

But this establishment of Greek Armatoles not 
proving sufficient against the north, a colony of 
Turks was transplanted from Iconium, and settled 
along the northern edge of the plain, and at the 
passes at Mount Olympus, so as to form a'second 
line in the rear of the Greek Armatoles. 

Thessaly now again revived. Mosques, medresses, 
churches, bridges, and khans, arose in twenty new 
and important cities. Larissa again became a pro- 
verb for wealth. To Tournovo was transplanted 
from Asia Minor the arts of dyeing, printing, 
weaving, &c. ; and from that city was subsequently 
transplanted to Montpelier the improved methods 
of dyeing, which have now become common in 

These arts and this industry and prosperity 
subsequently passed from the Turkish settlement 
to the Greek cities of Rapsan and Ambelikia, the 
wealth and commercial enterprise of which have 
appeared next to fabulous ; while in the southern 
extremity of Thessaly, the province of Magnesia 
was covered with a population of wealthy and 
industrious Greeks, the rapidity of whose progress 
is almost without a parallel. 


But, in the decay of the Ottoman, as of the 
Greek power, these prospects have been overcast ; 
the incursions of the Sclavonic populations had 
destroyed the authority of the one ; the progress 
of Russian diplomacy has broken the cohesion 
of the other. The consequent exasperation of na- 
tional and religious feelings has corrupted what has 
not been destroyed, and has perpetuated in the 
bosom of repose and of peace the worst effects of 
war — doubt, insecurity, and alarm. The con- 
nexion between its subjects, professing the Eastern 
dogma, and Russia, has made the Porte look upon 
the Armatoles, or militia of Roumeli, as enemies, 
and has thus converted them into oppressors of their 
own co-religionists : wide-spread convulsion and 
deep-rooted hatred have been the result. The 
wealth of Larissa is departed ; the industry of 
Tournovo is annihilated ; the palaces of Am- 
belikia are untenanted ; the independent, pros- 
perous, and happy district of Magnesia, excited by 
the ministers of its altars, and by the pretended 
patrons of its race, raised the banner of revolt, and 
has fallen a prey to the cimeter and the flames. 

The flood-gates of anarchy have thus, for ten 
years, been opened; and while the Turks have 
been fighting with the Allied Powers in the harbour 
of Navarin and on the Danube, Thessaly has been 
left a prey to Albanian bandits, to Greek Arma- 
toles, and to the errors of the Turkish authorities, 


blinded by hostility, and exasperated no less by 
misrepresentation than by wrongs. 

The very moment of our entrance into Thes- 
saly seemed the commencement of a new epoch. 
Turkey appeared delivered from Russian occu- 
pation, and from English Protocols. The Greek 
war was concluded, and a practical separation 
established between the parties ; and the authority 
of the Porte was now universally believed about 
to be re-established throughout Roumeli, by the 
triumph of the Grand Vizir over the Albanians. 

But, at the moment of which I am writing, the 
Armatoles, who occupied the whole country from 
the Eastern Sea to Mezzovo, were become little 
better than Klephts, and were almost considered by 
the Turkish authorities as such ; so that this 
militia, instead of protecting the passes of the 
mountains into Upper Macedonia, closed them, 
except to the passage of large bodies. Thus, 
Thessaly not only found itself insulated from the 
whole of the surrounding districts, but had its com- 
munication with the capital almost entirely cut off. 
It was true that the Armatoles had not united for 
any common enterprise, nor had the duties of their 
station been altogether overlooked ; but confidence 
and security had been shaken : the apprehension 
that they would sack and plunder the towns of 
the plains was universal. The Greek inhabitants 
of the plain dreaded the last contingency ; the 


Turkish authorities feared the first, and, by 
their doubts, confirmed the hostility of the Ar- 
matoles,* and disgusted the loyalty of the Greek 
peasantry and urban population. What a chaos 
must have followed any signal reverse which would 
have caused the Grand Vizir to retire to the 
eastward ! 

It was naturally with great difficulty that we 
could see our way through this state of things : 
the prejudices and animosity of each class for the 
others was quite perplexing, and the distortion of 
events and the falsification of news not less so. 

Two points were, however, perfectly clear: 
that the fate of European Turkey, and, conse- 
quently, of the empire, was involved in the success 
of the Grand Vizir ; and that the dispositions of 
the Greek Armatoles would decide whether the 
government or the Albanians should triumph. 1 
cannot help thinking that our journey may have, 
in some degree, influenced the result; because 
our decided, and, under the circumstances, autho- 
ritative, denegation of the views disseminated by 
the agents of Capodistrias produced a deep sen- 
sation on those with whom we came in contact; 
and from these, clearer views of their position 

* As the Armatoles were acted upon to prevent their co- 
operation in the suppression of the Albanian insurrection ; so, no 
doubt, were the Turks acted upon to inspire them with distrust 
of the Armatoles. 

VOL. I. X 


must have spread to the whole mass. At a sub- 
sequent period I learned, as I shall have to relate 
in a future place, that the Greeks and the Ar- 
matoles did ultimately support the Grand Vizir, 
who, himself, admitted that, without their co- 
operation, he must have failed. 




We had heard, some time after our arrival at 
Larissa, that the Albanian affairs had been en- 
tirely settled, and that the Beys had left Janina 
for Monastir, accompanied by all their adherents. 
We were excessively disappointed at not being 
present at such an assemblage, and now began 
sincerely to regret having followed the advice of 
our worthy friend, Gench Aga ; but we had only to 
submit with patience, and to console ourselves 
with the reflection, that, if we had missed being 
where events presented the greatest dramatic 
interest, still, with regard to the knowledge of the 
country and people, our time had been more use- 
fully spent in Thessaly than if we had been all 
the while following the Albanian camp. 

To bring together as much as possible the 
events connected with the Albanian insurrection, 
I shall now pass on to a scene which occurred six 
weeks after our first arrival at Larissa. As we were 
sitting in a barber's shop (on our return in the 
middle of August from Tempe to Larissa) to get 



our heads shaved, a Tartar came in just off a 
journey ; we asked whence he had come, and 
what news he had brought ? " From Monastir," 
he replied, " with news fit to load a three-decker !" 
" And what are the Beys about ?" " The Beys !" 
he said, with a laugh, " are on their way to Con- 
stantinople ; the whole of them in the kibe (saddle- 
bags) of a single Tartar." We understood him to 
mean their scalps. This intelligence, so suddenly 
communicated, and in so scoffing a manner, was 
really sickening, and we were quite exasperated 
at the triumph and exultation exhibited by both 
Turks and Greeks at the announcement of this 
treacherous destruction of men in whom we were 
so deeply interested. 

The mode of the catastrophe was as follows : — 
On the arrival of the Beys at Monastir, the Sa- 
drazem received them with the greatest affability 
and kindness, gave them free access to his person, 
and soothed them with promises and caresses. A 
few days afterwards, he proposed giving to them, and 
all their followers, a grand Ziafet (fete), when they 
should meet and make friends with the Nizzam. 
This was to take place at a Kiosk built by the 
former Roumeli Valessi without the town, and 
which now was the head-quarters of the regular 
troops. On the day appointed, towards evening, 
they proceeded to the place of rendezvous, ac- 
companied by nearly four hundred partisans and 
attendants, amongst whom were included almost 


all the Beys and Officers we had known in either 
camp. As they approached the Kiosk, which is 
concealed from the road until you come near to 
it, they suddenly opened upon a clear space be- 
fore it, and there perceived a thousand regulars 
drawn up on two sides of a square, the one along 
the direction they were to take, the other facing 
them. Arslan Bey was mounted on a large and 
splendid charger, and was on the left of Veli Bey, 
and on the side which, on approaching the Kiosk, 
would be next to the troops. Veli Bey was 
mounted upon a small animal of high blood and 
mettle, which he generally rode. At the sight of 
the troops so drawn up, Arslan Bey seized Veli 
Bey's bridle, exclaiming, " We have eaten dirt!" 
Veli Bey smiled, and said, " This is the regular 
way of doing honour. You don't mean to disgrace 
yourself and me for ever by flinching now ?*' "At 
all events/' said Arslan Bey, " let us change horses, 
and let me get on the other side." This being 
quickly done, and Arslan Bey being screened by 
the stately person and lofty charger of Veli Bey, 
they rode into the vacant space, where no superior 
officer stood to receive them ; and they had proceeded 
along the Turkish line, and nearly to its centre, 
when the word of command was given from the 
window of the Kiosk to make ready and present 
arms, and the next moment the muzzles were 
levelled — a fatal volley poured amongst the thunder- 
struck Arnaouts, followed by a charge with the 


bayonet. Veli Bey and his horse instantly fell, 
pierced by nineteen balls, but Arslan Bey escaped 
unscathed. He, with those who had not suffered 
from the fire of the first line, wheeled off to the 
right, when the volley and the charge of the second 
Turkish line took them again in flank. Arslan 
Bey alone cut his way through, and had soon left 
the field of carnage behind him. His flight was 
observed from the Kiosk. Chior Ibrahim Pasha, 
who had surrendered at Lepanto, quickly mounted 
one of the fleetest steeds, and pursued the fugitive. 
After a chase of three miles he gained upon him, 
and Arslan Bey now perceiving but one pursuer 
better mounted than himself, turned sharply round. 
Ibrahim Pasha came on with his lance in rest ; 
Arslan Bey's first pistol did not take effect, his 
second brought down the horse of his antagonist, 
who, as he fell, ran Arslan Bey through and 

Veli Bey's decapitated body was left for dogs 
and vultures to prey upon ! It was now evident 
that each had been made the means of counteract- 
ing the influence and decoying the person of the 
other. With Veli Bey, and his troops in posses- 
sion of Janina and its castle, and the person of 
Emin Pasha, the Sadrazem could not have ven- 
tured his own person there, nor would Veli Bey 

• I give the details as they were subsequently related to me 
at Monastir by one of the survivors, who was close to the Beys. 


have placed himself in the power of the Sadra- 
zem unless he had been made the confidant of the 
scheme against Arslan Bey, and unless he had felt 
the necessity of getting rid of so dangerous a rival 
in the affections of the Albanians ; while Arslan 
Bey would never have placed himself in the power 
of the Sadrazem, unless in the company of Veli 
Bey, whom he must have felt to have run a com- 
mon danger with himself. To have cut off the 
one without the other, would have served but to 
exasperate the Albanians, and to strengthen the 
survivor. The scheme, therefore, as a combina- 
tion, was a masterpiece. 

But this blow must have been combined with 
Selictar Poda. Has not the Sadrazem said to 
him, " You are the chief and ablest man of Al- 
bania : you never injured me. We have been 
enemies on account of Veli Bey, who has used 
me for his own ends, insulted me, and abused my 
confidence. If you would be my friend, I will 
sacrifice Veli Bey, but you must sacrifice Arslan 
Bey ?" This appears the more probable, from 
Arslan Bey's having been excited to revolt by the 
Selictar, and subsequently abandoned by him at 
the moment things wore the most favourable as- 
pect. This rupture led to the meeting between 
the two Beys at Milies, and their common de- 
ception. If it is so, we will hear of a simultaneous 
attack upon Janina by the party of Selictar Poda. 
To him there remains behind this a double game. 


The Selictar will have fathomed the plan of the 
Sadrazem, and will further it, so far as to render 
himself sole head of Albania ; while the Sadrazem 
will use his co-operation so far as to prevent a 
coalition against himself; and when this is effected, 
the struggle will commence between these two. 

The above was written the morning the news 
arrived at Larissa. Two days later we received 
intelligence that, on the day of the massacre of 
the Beys at Monastir, Selictar Poda's party at 
Janina, strengthened by small parties clandestinely 
introduced into the town, and in concert with Emin 
Pasha in the castle, attacked the party of Veli 
Bey ; and, after a six hours' contest in the street, 
in which half of the town was again reduced to 
ashes, effectually subdued it, and sent to Monastir 
the head of Mousseli Bey, Veli Bey's brother, 
whom he had left at Arta. 

Thus have we been walking on mined ground, 
which has exploded both before and behind us. 
We now understood the motives of Gench Aga in 
removing us from the Albanian camp, and felt 
grateful for the care he had taken of us at the 
risk of placing himself in an embarrassing situation, 
or even of betraying his master's counsels, had we 
neglected his advice and communicated to Veli 
Bey the apprehensions he entertained of our safety 
from remaining in his company. 








The six weeks I remained at Larissa, I employed 
in making rapid trips to almost every portion of 
Thessaly ; sometimes attended by a Cavash, but, 
in the more dangerous parts, entirely alone. 
Wherever I went — whatever class of the commu- 
nity — whatever race I visited — every where did 
the phantom Protocol rise upon my steps ; but, of 
course, in the south, and in the neighbourhood of 
the new frontier, its aspect was the most hideous, 
and its voice most threatening. At Zeitouni, 
where the Turks are menaced with expulsion, as 
the Greeks are in Acarnania, it was introduced 
even before pipes and coffee ! 

Zeitouni, the ancient Lamia, is an interesting 
spot. In an equally lonely and illustrious region, it 
stands on a hill that overlooks the plain of the 
Sperchius, bounded by the lofty rampart of Mount 
(Eta. The Sperchius flows into the Euripus, or 
the channel which separates Eubcea from the main. 


Every evening, during my stay at Zeitouni, I used 
to repair to a Kiosk, by the ruins of the fortress, 
to smoke and talk politics with the elders, and to 
enjoy the magnificent scene, of which the. bluff 
rocks of Thermopylae were at once the chief em- 
bellishment and attraction. I was a guest at the 
splendid, though now half-dismantled, palace of 
Tefic Bey ; a youth of nineteen, with the most 
perfectly classical features I ever saw in flesh and 
blood ; and which were set off to advantage by the 
taste and elegance of the most picturesque of cos- 
tumes. He became very desirous of visiting Eng- 
land ; but his mother, a grandaughter of Ali 
Pasha, would not hear of his going amongst the 
unwashed and immoral Franks. On my departure, 
however, he told me, with a very resolute air, 
though not venturing to speak in tones above a 
whisper, that he was f determined to go to Eng- 
land." His uncle, a respectable old man, with an 
enormously large white turban and beard, used to 
persecute me with the Protocol. " Ach ! — ach ! 
— ach!" he would say, holding up his hands, 
" may Allah make you our enemies, and not our 
friends!" Every where I found the Turks ready 
to declare that they believed England acted hon- 
estly ; — that the English, like themselves, " coveted 
no man's land, and knew little of what was doing 
in other countries." 

I have often been astonished at the degree of 
consideration in which England is held, because it 


would appear natural for the Turks to estimate so 
much higher the military power of France, of 
Russia, or even of Austria. England, however, is 
the country to which the Turk looks — which he 
names first (no unimportant matter in the East) — 
in whose integrity he confides, despite of appear- 
ances and facts, and whom not unfrequently he 
invokes as protector, to escape from this endless 
complication of foreign wars and protocols, and 
domestic insurrection. I endeavoured to account 
for this high estimation of England in various ways ; 
— similarity of character ; similarity of political 
institutions, at least as contrasted with the other 
governments of Europe — a nearer approach in 
religious dogma. But these considerations, al- 
though worthy of having weight, can have none, 
while, as at present, no intercourse exists between 
the two people. I then thought of the expedition 
to Egypt, when, on expelling the French, we re- 
stored that province to the Porte. I thought of 
the efforts of Sultan Selim (the sole crowned 
protester against the partition of Poland) to pre- 
vent the aggression of the Mussulman States in 
India against England, lest her consideration should 
thereby be weakened in Europe, and a necessary 
element in the balance of European power with- 
drawn.* Such views, however, could not be sup- 

* See, in Despatches of Lord Wellesley, a letter from Sultan 
Selim to Tippoo Sultaun. 


posed to influence the mass of the Turkish 
people. The reply this old Turk made to me 
seemed to be the real explanation of the respect in 
which England is held, despite of her policy. 
" England covets no man's land." This is the 
point — this the great secret — which every nation 
feels, and which has been the basis of our European 
position. Nor does it say little for the strong 
sense of the Turk, who lays his finger at once on 
that character of England, which entitles her to 
his confidence where she stands alone, but which, 
under actual circumstances, places her power and 
influence at the disposal of his enemy. " She 
covets no man's land," therefore do we place im- 
plicit confidence in her integrity, but " she knows 
little of what is doing in other lands ; " and there- 
fore is she easily betrayed into furthering the 
aggressions which formerly it was her boast and 
her glory to prevent. How often have I heard 
both Turk and Greek exclaim, " If we could but 
enlighten England as to our true position, we 
should be safe ! " 

England, since the period of her aggressive 
wars in France, has assumed an importance in 
Europe, wholly disproportioned to her power, in 
consequence of her national justice. She has never 
been the aggressor ; — she has never sought exten- 
sion of her limits, or (in Europe) acquisition of 
territory ; consequently, no feeling of nationality 
has been aroused against her in particular states, 


nor has the common sentiment of public justice 
been outraged by her views and acts in policy or 
in arms. She has interposed between contending 
nations, to re-establish peace without subjugation. 
Her neutral position has alone maintained the 
repose which has intervened between four great 
wars, which her arms and intervention have pre- 
vented from combining continental Europe into a 
single despotism. 

England limited the power of aggressive Spain, 
maintained the long doubtful equilibrium between 
Spain and the empire. She then preserved the 
balance between Austria and France, by opposing 
the first while it preponderated, and by co-ope- 
rating to restrain, and, finally, to reduce, the over- 
whelming power subsequently developed by the 
latter. " England," says Vattel, " without alarm- 
ing any state on the score of its liberty, because 
that nation seems cured of the rage of conquest ; 
England, I say, has the glory of holding the 
political balance ; she is attentive to preserve it in 
equilibrium !" 

But, during the last century a mist seems to have 
arisen over the earth, which has obscured the politi- 
cal vision of European statesmen and nations. All 
western governments have become, day by day, 
more involved in regulations, subdivided into de- 
partments, and buried under details ; confusion of 
mind has led to error in action : thence that separa- 
tion of a nation into distinct and reciprocally hating 


classes and interests. The gradual centralization 
of power has paralysed the executive, and effaced 
the political sense of nations, by extinguishing self- 
government, and, with it, the clear perception 
of details and comprehensive views of the whole. 
Nations have ceased to act and to feel as 
moral unities; they have become parties and 
factions ; words have been substituted for things ; 
and national interests have been replaced by party 
principle. Then commenced an era of national 
violence ; the fanaticism of religious infolerance 
was transferred to politics, and nations rushed to 
bloody encounter, because of differences in the 
fashion of their social edifices. I should date 
this system, in its silent operation on mind, 
from the middle of the 17th century, when the 
hitherto universal basis of taxation was aban- 
doned ; but the first public and international error 
committed by England, under its influence, does 
not ascend higher than forty years. The first 
step in this fatal career was the secret treaty be- 
tween England and Russia, which was the prelude 
to the wars of the Revolution. It is true, England 
entered into that treaty for the professed purpose 
of maintaining the balance of power, the only 
object for which, up to that period, England had 
engaged in a foreign contest. Why was this 
compact secret ? Secrecy was treason to the ob- 
jects of the alliance. " Why was the treaty 
secret?" was the cry of the opposition in the 


House of Commons. The minister did not, could 
not, reply : the reason simply was, that Russia saw 
the moment come when Europe could be con- 
vulsed by political principle ; and by this treaty, 
which her superiority in men enabled her to induce 
us to keep secret, she obtained also a secret sub- 
sidy, acted in her own name, and stamped the 
character of political partisanship on the war thus 
commenced. A proclamation to this effect was 
published to Europe, announcing that Russia " flew 
to the assistance of endangered thrones." Thus 
commenced the first war of principle through 
England herself — through the use then made, for 
the first time, of her money, her name, and her 
influence, for purposes which she did not compre- 
hend, and for objects which all her power must 
have been exerted to prevent, had she understood 
them. England then ceased to be the England of 
Yattel, and has latterly assumed a character the 
very reverse of that by which she gained glory 
without the sacrifice of justice, and acquired power 
without losing respect. Now, alas! she appears 
only as the friend of the powerful, and as the ally 
of the aggressor. If she herself nurtured aggres- 
sive views, her power would become harmless by 
sinking into insignificance ; but, convinced as 
men are of her integrity of purpose, and giving 
her credit still for some degree of knowledge and 
capacity, they revere her so, that her alliance is 
invaluable as a cloak to violence and aggression. 


Mankind is thus cursed through England by in- 
tegrity without capacity, and by power without 

Being so near to Thermopylae, I determined 
to pay a visit to this celebrated Spa, which will, no 
doubt, soon become a fashionable watering-place. 
Tefic Bey would not suffer me to go alone ; my 
Turkish cavash did not dare to accompany me, as 
the Greek troops were in occupation, and the 
intervening lands infested by robbers frdm Greece. 
I was therefore attended by two Bosnian rforsemen 
of the Bey's guard. 

We crossed the rich plain of the Sperchius, and 
saw but a single patch of cultivation. After cross- 
ing the river, I spurred on impatiently to the arena 
of Thermopylae, leaving my Bosnian companions 
behind, thinking myself more usefully accompanied 
by Herodotus in one pocket, and Pausanias in the 

The ground has lost much of the distinctness 
of its ancient form, from the growing deposits of 
the hot springs, which have increased the margin 
between the mountain and the sea. I pushed 
forward, in expectation of meeting with the narrow 
gorge, until I found I had passed it, by perceiving 
the country of Phocis to open and display the 
ruins of Boudounitza, on the solitary rock that 
once was the patrimony of Patroclus. I then 
turned back, and after satisfying myself as to the 
general positions of the place, I began to get 


alarmed respecting my companions, and suspected 
that, being themselves not quite satisfied as to the 
reception they might meet with from the Greeks, 
they had seized the pretext of my absence to turn 
back to Zeitouni. I had ridden forward six or seven 
miles from the spot where I had left them ; I had 
now returned half that distance, and saw nothing 
of them. The burning sun of a long June day was 
verging to the horizon. I was overcome with the 
heat ; my mule was completely knocked up ; not 
a creature had I met ; and, in the absence of every 
sound and hum of men, the whole air shook with 
the buzzing of myriads of insects. I dismounted, 
and allowed my mule to graze close to a canal 
that conveys to the sea the principal body of the 
hot spring. I undressed and took a bath, and 
wandered up the current in the narrow channel. 
On returning to the spot whence I started, my 
clothes were nowhere to be seen. I leave it to 
those who have always esteemed their clothing a 
portion of their necessary existence, to judge of the 
reflections to which such a state of things gave rise. 
After turning the matter over in my mind for some 
time, I attempted to lie down. Then it was that 
the whole bearing of the subject came upon me ; 
and I perceived that, where there is neither sand 
nor greensward, it is utterly impossible to repose 
in the state of nature. And how was I to pass 
the night ? how appear in Zeitouni the next day, 
in the costume of the Lady of Coventry ? I looked 

VOL. I. Y 


around me in the hope of having some useful idea 
suggested to my mind. I could not perceive even 
a single fig-tree ! In sober earnest, this was one of 
the most embarrassing situations in which a human 
being could be placed, and one calculated to 
suggest many philosophical reflections respecting 
the origin of society. At length, I was startled 
with a distant hallooing in the direction of Zeitouni. 
I answered with all my might, for whoever the 
intruders might be — 

" Vacuus cantabit coram latronem viator." 

My voice was answered ; and soon, on the opposite 
side of the broad white band of the incrustations of 
the fountain, appeared the red dresses of my Bos- 
niacs. A Greek passing by had seen my clothes, 
and carried them off, and was proceeding in triumph 
with his booty, when he came suddenly on the two 
Bosniacs, who were sitting waiting for me where 
the path branched off to the right, and ascended 
the mountain towards the Greek encampment. 
They recognized my clothes, and suspected that he 
had murdered me. On his insisting that he had 
found the clothes close to the hot stream, they 
respited him from execution till he should conduct 
them to the spot. Words cannot express the 
delight I experienced on getting back my clothes. 
The Greek received free pardon, as he had got a 
fright, and blows enough to cure him for ever of 


the propensity of stealing the wardrobes of bathing 

It was now too late to think of attempting to 
reach the Greek encampment, so we prepared to 
turn our horses out to graze for four or five hours, 
and to commence the ascent of GEta, when the 
moon rose. As for ourselves, we had to be content 
with the thoughts of the breakfast we should make 
next morning, and with drawing our belts a little 

Our new companion said, that the country was 
full of deer ; the mountain behind being inaccess- 
ible, they could not break away in that direction ; 
and, even without dogs, we might run the chance 
of getting a shot and a supper. We were, in all, 
five. The Greek, one of my guards, and their at- 
tendant, ascended the two opposite sides of a little 
glen lying against the precipitous face of the rock ; 
the other Bosnian and I concealed ourselves in two 
bushes at its lowest extremity. Our companions, 
who had ascended, soon commenced shouting on 
both sides, and beating the bushes ; but no deer 
came bounding down. Just as all chance of success 
seemed over, a boar made a sudden rush, and I 
perceived it, straight-on-end, coming right for the 
bush in which I was. I fired, but missed : he 
turned aside, and approached the cover of the 
Bosniac, who, with surer aim, hit him in the 
shoulder, and he went whirling for fifty yards down 
the hill. Our party was soon gathered, and a 



couple of shots more despatched him. But here 
a new dilemma arose : the wild boar was pork, 
a flesh forbidden to all true Mussulmans ; the 
day was Friday, upon which the flesh of all hot- 
blooded animals is forbidden to orthodox Greeks ; 
my companions therefore evinced no alacrity in 
rendering our game available for supper. A fire, 
however, was made, and a well-garnished ramrod 
was finally presented to me. The while I sup- 
ped, my companions looked on with wistful eyes, 
and inquired, with watery mouths, if the boar was 
well cooked ? At length the Greek asked me, " If 
it were possible for one man to bear the sins of 
another?" I answered with the caution requisite 
when one does not see to what the admission of a 
postulate may lead. He explained as follows : — 
" I want to know whether, as you have eaten 
meat on your own account on Friday, you might 
not also take upon yourself the additional sin of 
my following your example." To this I agreed ; 
and another ramrod was soon in requisition, and 
festooned with " the beauteous white and red" of 
the grisly boar. One of the Mussulmans now ob- 
served, that, having taken the sins of the Greek 
upon my shoulders, it would add little to my 
burden if I were to take theirs also ; and very 
soon the whole ramrods of the party were laid 
over a clear bed of hot embers, raked out of the 

Next morning, following the path taken by 


Mardonius when he fell on the Spartans, we 
reached betimes the Greek encampment. On the 
side of the hill I came upon ruins not yet de- 
scribed ; and which I made out, to my own entire 
satisfaction, to have been the half-yearly seat of 
the Amphyctionic Council. But I have no inten- 
tion of carrying my reader back to Greece, or of 
entertaining him with archaeological disquisitions. 
Besides, these journeys through Thessaly were per- 
formed so rapidly, that I have scarcely any records 
of them made at the time ; and I travelled without 
a tent, servants, or any of those accompaniments 
which I had hitherto considered indispensable, not 
only to the enjoyment, but to the supporting, of 
such a journey. 

On returning to Zeitouni, I found that Tefic 
Bey had started the same morning for Larissa, with 
a retinue of fifty or sixty horsemen ; and that he 
was to sleep that night at Thaumaco. I determined 
on making the journey, about seventy miles, in 
one day, so next morning I was en route two hours 
before the dawn, and overtook the Bey as he was 
quitting Pharsalia. 

That name may for a moment arrest my pen. 
Pharsalia stands on the side of a gentle elevation, 
looking to the north, and before it stretches the 
field of death that bears that undvinsr name. On 
entering the place, we stopped at a fountain which 
gushes from a rock. The idea of an urn for the 
source of a river must have originated in Thessaly. 


The plains are level ; marble cliffs rise abruptly 
from them ; and at the base of these, rivers, 
rather than fountains, gush forth from fissures in 
the rock. Here, under a wide and lofty canopy 
of plane-trees, the water, pouring from twenty 
mouths, spreads all around into a pond, which is 
studded with little grass knolls, and from which 
spring the rounded and smooth trunks of the trees. 
Greek women, the descendants of the ancient 
Pelasgi, were washing under the rock ; and in the 
deep shade, children playing, and a herd of goats 
sporting in the water. On the bank, a troop of 
gipsies, descendants of the Hindoos, were blowing, 
with skins, their little furnaces ; and I, a descendant 
of the Northern Gauls, accompanied by a Scla- 
vonian follower, of the faith of Mecca, stopped in 
the midst of this strange assemblage, to request 
from another stranger from the plains of Tartary, 
a draught from the water of the fountain of 

And here I looked around on the selfsame 
prospect, upon which gazed the hostile arrays of 
the divided world, on the morning of that memo- 
rable day, when the parliamentary principle of 
Rome sunk beneath her military genius. All that 
consecrates the Plains of Thrasymene, Cannse, or 
of Marathon, lives and breathes in the solitude of 
Pharsalia. But here it is only at long intervals that 
the spirit of the living holds converse with the 
dead ; here the solemnity of the shrine of antiquity 


is undisturbed by schoolboy quotations — undese- 
crated by tourist sentiment ; and here no officious 
vocabulary of a cicerone, restores, by the evocation 
of words, the dominion of commonplace. 

I made another excursion from Larissa to the 
ruins of Pherse, Volo, and that remarkable district 
Magnesia, which is formed by Mount Pelion, and 
a promontory running out from it to the south, 
and which then turns to the west, so as to encircle 
the Gulf of Volo. 

The road through the plains of Larissa and 
Pharsalia, had been fatiguing alike to the body and 
the eye, from the want of shade and of trees, 
except in the vicinity of Pharsalia, and presented 
nothing but the dirty yellow of the stubble and of 
parched grass ; but on arriving on the limits of the 
plain, which is considerably elevated above the 
level of the sea, and after passing a little gorge, 
with a round conical hillock called Pilafptee, you 
suddenly look down on the small town of Volo, 
lying in the midst of verdure and shade, girt by 
a belt of towers, and surmounted by a single 
minaret. Before it stretched the bav, with some 
small craft ; beyond the bay and the town rose 
abruptly the fore-foot of Pelion, with three or four 
towns, rather than villages, clustering almost to 
its summit ; the white dwellings inviting the steps 
and eyes, from their deep and varied bowers of 
cypress, fir, crania, oak, mulberry, and cherry 


The geographer Miletius was a native of this 
district, and has given, in his work, an excellent 
and minute account of it as it was thirty years 
ago. The revolutionary movement of Greece 
spread to this then happy district, and it was con- 
sequently ravaged by a Turkish army. I therefore 
expected to find it in ruins ; but great was my 
surprise at the aspect which it presented, and 
which I shall endeavour succinctly to describe. 

The very summits of Pelion are bare gneiss ; 
then comes a covering of beech ; below these 
forests of chestnuts ; lower down, apple, pear, 
plum, walnut, and cherry trees ; lower down, 
almond, quince, fig, lemon, orange, jejubier ; and 
every where abundance of vines and mulberries. 
The sides are every where abrupt, and sometimes 
rugged ; rocks and foliage are mingled throughout ; 
and water gushes from ten thousand springs. 
Nestled in these rocks, and overshadowed by this 
foliage, are the twenty-four townships of Magne- 
sia. They are divided into two classes, termed 
Vacouf and Chasia; there being fourteen of the 
former, and ten of the latter. Makrinizza, the 
chief borough of the Evkaf, is the seat of the 
governing council, as also of the Bostanji from 
Constantinople ; and all the neighbouring villages 
have long stories to tell of its domineering spirit. 

The happiness, prosperity, and independence 
of this Christian population (an independence for 
which, with the exception perhaps, though in a 


minor degree, of the Basque Provinces, there is 
now no parallel in Europe) is owing, not only to 
the protection of the Mussulman faith against the 
abuses of the Turkish Government, but to the 
system of administration which Islamism has always 
carried along with it, and maintained, when it has 
had the political power to do so. 

The other class of these communities, the 
Chasia, are relics of the Zygokephalia established 
by Justinian, and preserved by the Turkish admi- 
nistration. Though they are not collected into one 
body as the Vacouf villages, they are protected 
by them, and in almost every respect assimilated 
with them. 

In each village the primates have a Turk, who 
acts as a Huisser : they pay according to an assess- 
ment in lieu of the Kharatch. As to their political 
administration, their only law is custom, and they 
require nothing more, as their primates ought to 
be, and generally are, freely elected. Where there 
is local administration, law is superfluous, because 
the administrators are at once controlled and 
strengthened by public opinion ; and public opin- 
ion, under such principles of Government, is 
always one. 

As to their civil affairs, they are decided, in 
cases of regular litigation, by the Code of Justinian. 
There is no difficulty arising out of judicial pro- 
cedure, because the primates are the judges; — 
there is no difficulty arising out of opposition of 


general laws and local custom, because the Turkish 
Government gives the force of law to whatever 
custom is universally followed or demanded by 
the community, and because it renders legal the 
decision of a third party, who is voluntarily chosen 
as arbitrator between two litigants. It will be 
observed, that the authority of the government, in 
all these cases, never appears as initiative, or as 
reglementaire : it appears merely when called 
upon to interfere, having much more the cha- 
racter of a judge than that of an administrative 
authority.* I felt this to be a glimpse at the 
action, in vacuo, of the principles of the Turkish 

The district of Magnesia has certainly not yet 
recovered from the effects of the catastrophe that 
had fallen upon it seven years before ; — ruins and 
uninhabited houses were to be seen. Nevertheless, 
there was all around an air of well-being, gaiety, 
and ease ; the handsome stone-built houses looked 
so wealthy and comfortable, after the lath-and- 
plaster edifices of the plain ; the inhabitants were 
all well dressed, and seemed a fine and healthy 
race. Makrinizza had several fauxbourgs, and counts 
1300 houses ; Volo (not the Castle) at the base of 
the hill, has 700 fires ; Portaria, the principal of 

* This greatest of all truths once flashed across the mind of 
Burke : " One of the greatest problems," said he, " is to 
discover where authority should cease, and administration 


the Chasia, and only three miles from Makrinizza, 
has 600. The principal remaining villages are — 
Drachia, 600 ; St. Laurentius, 400 ; Metis, 300 ; 
Argalasti, 400 ; Vrancharoda, 400 ; and on the 
last summit of the bare chain that encloses the 
Gulf, Trickeri, 550. 

The chief exports are oil, silk, dried fruits, 
excellent cherries, and fine flavoured honey. Of 
almost every other produce, they have abundance 
for themselves. From the succession of heights, 
they have fruits and vegetables earlier, later, and 
longer than, perhaps, any other district. Cherries 
they consider eatable from the 12th of March, 
O. S., and they do not go out till the middle of 
July, when the first grapes are ripe. Their prin- 
cipal export is of manufactured articles, capotes, 
or shaggy cloaks, belts, silk cord, lace, and blue 
cotton handkerchiefs. Black for woollens, blue 
for cotton, and crimson for silk, are their most 
successful colours. Of dyed and wrought silk, 
they export yearly 30,000 okes, and they pro- 
duce 500 mule-loads of run silk. These are the 
produce of that portion of Magnesia which is 
formed by the mountain of Pelion itself; but, 
further to the south, Argalasti produces butter, 
cheese, and cattle ; and here a Turkish popu- 
lation, in no ways distinct or distinguished from 
the Greeks, cultivates the scanty fields, and tends 
the flocks and cattle. The shores of the gulf 


supply abundance of fish ; and the hills are stocked 
with every species of deer, wild goats, wild fowl, 
and game. Trickeri is celebrated for its mer- 
cantile energy, and sends its fishermen to dive for 
sponge all over the Levant. It possesses several 
schooners and tricanderis, which carry on, princi- 
pally, the cabotage of these parts, but also venture 
as far as Alexandria and Constantinople. They did 
not recollect having sent vessels to Soujouk-Kaleh, 
and therefore it was needless to ask them about 
the Argo, or to tell them that their ancestors, 
thirty-five centuries before, had discovered Cir- 
cassia, in a vessel, the timbers of which had 
descended from their mountains. In this narrow 
circuit of hills, enclosing the gulf, a great portion 
of which, too, is perfectly bare and completely 
barren, exists a population of 50,000 souls, amongst 
whom arts so varied flourish, and who, for cen- 
turies, have enjoyed freedom and abundance. Men 
have seemed to spring, in this favoured region, 
from the fructifying look of the rocks, still bearing 
the names of Deucalion and of Pyrrha. They 
have been protected, by their geographical po- 
sition, from the savage tribes that, for so many 
centuries, oppressed their neighbours of the plain, 
and they have been shielded by the Church from 
the abuses of the Government. This district exhi- 
bits what the soil can produce, and what happiness 
man can attain to when relieved from the intrusion 


of laws.* Their only drawback was the traditional 
h-fcovicc (jealousies), the domineering spirit of an- 
cient Greece, and one might almost fancy Makri- 
nizza a buffo representation of Athens, lording it 
over her allies. 

" This delightful spot (Magnesia) exhibits," 
says Mr. Dodwell, " in all their rich mixtures of 
foliage and diversity of form, the luxuriantly 
spreading plantanus, the majestically robust chest- 
nut, the aspiring cypress, which are happily inter- 
mingled with the vine, pomegranate, almond, and 
fig. Here the weary may repose, and those who 
hunger or thirst may be satisfied. Nor is the ear 
left without its portion of delight ; the nightingale, 
and other birds, are heard even in the most fre- 
quented streets ; and plenty, security, and content, 
are every where diffused. 

" Pelion is adorned with about twenty-four 
large and wealthy villages, some of which merit 
rather the appellation of cities, inhabited by Greeks, 
of strong and athletic forms, who are sufficiently 
brave and numerous to despise their neighbours, 
the Turks.f The streets are irrigated by incessant 

* St. Augustin says, " Powerful men do evil, and then make 
laws to justify themselves." 

t Here their prosperity is explained by the ideas that would 
suggest themselves to a European. Subsequently to Mr. Dod- 
well's visit, they did trust to " numbers and to bravery," and 
were reduced to subjection and misery. Under any western 
government, after such provocation, their prosperity and their 
liberty would have been extinguished, never to revive. 


rills and the clearest fountains, and shaded by 
plane-trees, entwined with ample ramifications of 
vines of prodigious dimensions, and clustering with 
an exuberance of grapes." 

Speaking of the southern parts of Thessaly, he 
says, *' almost every step or turn of the road pre- 
sented some characteristic diversity of view, which, 
in multiplicity of picturesque charms, and in co- 
piousness of enchanting landscape, far surpassed 
any thing in Italy, or, perhaps, any other country 
of the world. The beauty of the limes was'equalled 
by the clear and vivid freshness of the tints. 
No Italian mist dimmed the interesting distances, 
which are sharp, distinct, and definite, without 

My next trip was to Tournovo, about ten 
miles to the north of Larissa. My companion was 
sufficiently recovered to resume his labours; and 
our worthy host, the Archbishop, having a house 
at Tournovo, proposed to be there, also, our enter- 
tainer. We started in a couple of cotcis, or 
Turkish carriages, in which there is no place for 
the legs, and one has to fold them under, in lieu of 
a cushion. 

The following notices respecting this place, I 
took down at the time from the mouth of the 
Kaimakam, a descendant of the original Turkish 
founder, and ruler of Thessaly, a memoir of whose 
life is contained in an Arabic manuscript in the 
public library of the burgh. 


About thirty years before the capture of Con- 
stantinople, the inhabitants of Larissa, who had 
been reduced to so weak a condition by the devast- 
ations of their Bulgarian neighbours, and the 
weakness of the empire, that they were obliged to 
admit a Bulgarian Prince within their walls, called 
to their deliverance one of the companions of 
Murad II., named Turkhan Bey, who, appearing 
before the city with 5000 Turks, was immediately 
put in possession. The Bulgarians escaping, and 
the Prince betaking himself to the monasteries of 
the Meteora, one of which he had founded,* 
Triccala, and the remaining portions of Larissa, 
immediately submitted to Turkhan Bey ; but, sur- 
rounded on every side by fierce mountaineers, the 
authority he had so suddenly acquired, he found 
himself without the material means of supporting 
and defending. It was then, and, most probably, 
according to the suggestions of this extraordinary 
man, that the extensive system of the Greek 
mountain militia was established, and that Murad II. 

* The humble Greeks had even then imposed some respect 
upon their Sclavonic oppressors, by imparting to them their 
faith ; and that faith, in these latter times, has been turned by 
the Russians, into an instrument for their destruction. If the 
Turkish Empire is overthrown, it will be by the use that Russia 
is allowed to make in the East of the Greek doctrine, and in the 
West of the word Christian. And when the Turkish Empire is 
overthrown, the independence and the existence of Greece at 
once cease. 


came to be recognised sovereign of Thessaly in 
so quiet and tranquil a manner, that the precise 
date of the event is unrecorded. 

Turkhan Bey sent emissaries to Iconium, at 
that period in a state of hostility with the Ottoman 
dynasty, and succeeded in inducing five or six 
thousand families to emigrate to Thessaly, to 
whom, being at once of a warlike and an indus- 
trious character, he gave lands on the north of the 
plain of Thessaly ; and thus, while interesting 
them in the defence of the soil they inhabited, 
placed them as a rampart between the unwarlike 
Greeks and the Bulgarian mountaineers. He con- 
structed for them twelve intrenched villages : 
Tatar, Kasaklar,* Tchaier, Missalar, Deleer, Ku- 
fala, Karadjoglan, Ligara, Radgoon, Karedemilli, 
Derili, Balamout. The number of villages is now 
much greater, and I think only three or four of 
these names coincide with names of existing vil- 
lages. In the rear of this military colony, 
Turkhan Bey established Tournovo, for which he 
obtained extensive immunities from Sultan Murad. 
These immunities granted by the Ottoman Porte, 
were placed under the sanction of the faith and 
the superintendence of the Sherif of Mecca. Tour- 
novo was made a city of refuge ; strangers, during 
ten years, were exempted from all contribution ; 
it was made Vacouf, and therefore emancipated 

* Turkish plural for Cossack. 


from the control of the local governor ; no Turk- 
ish Pasha could enter it — no Turkish troops pass 
through it; there was never to be in it Corvee, or 
forced labour ; the Kharatch and the tenths were 
the only revenue that could be raised, and these 
were to belong to Turkhan Bey and his successors, 
as the reward of his integrity and success in a long 
life of labour and of difficulty : he had also the 
right of succession to property left without natural 
heirs.* For thirty-five years, Turkhan Bey fostered 
the prosperity of this district ; and the property 
having been made Vacouf, he left to his posterity 
only the superintendence of the administration of 
the revenues, and their application to the various 
pious and useful foundations which he had made, 
not only in every portion of Thessaly, but even in 
the Morea. Their administration was again con- 
trolled by the Kislar Aga, as superintendent of the 
Evkaf of Mecca, who had the power of displacing 
the Kaimakaim of Tournovo, and the Metevellis 
of the various Evkaf, in case of complaint of the 
inhabitants against them, though their successors 
had always to be chosen from the kindred of 
Turkhan Bey. 

One of the objects to which his attention was 
principally directed, and in which he has conferred 

* A man is considered without natural heirs who has no 
relative nearer than cousins of the fourth degree ; who has no 
adopted children, and has left no will. 

VOL. I. Z 


the most important and lasting benefit upon Thes- 
saly, was the introduction of the art of dyeing, and, 
as a consequence of that, the other arts connected 
with the manufacture of silk, cottons, and of 
woollens. His care in this respect, was not cir- 
cumscribed by the limits of his own favourite 
township ; a large reservoir at Makrinizza, in Mag- 
nesia, which to the present day is used for washing 
the dyed stuffs, has an inscription recording its 
construction by Turkhan Bey. Madder, yellow 
berries, and the kali plant, from which their potash 
is made, were then introduced at Tournovo, and 
have now become common throughout all Rou- 
meli and many parts of Europe. 

The following are the various foundations 
made by him out of Tournovo : — A mosque on the 
spot where he first dismounted in Larissa, sup- 
ported internally by six columns, to represent his 
horse's four legs and his own two. Two other 
mosques ; a handsome stone bridge over the Pe- 
neus, and the Bezistein, which has lately been 
almost destroyed by fire. Three medresess, or 
colleges, and three baths. 

At Triccala, he built two mosques, two me- 
dresses, two baths, and several mills. He built 
seven or eight Khans in various parts of Thessaly ; 
and when, in his old age, he was invited by the 
Greeks of the Morea, to protect them against the 
incursions of the Albanians, as formerly related, 


and after driving the Albanians to their mountains, 
and taking possession of Arta, he constructed there 
the fish preserves. 

The cultivation of the mulberry, for the pro- 
duction of silk, seems to have been common at 
Tournovo before it was known at Salonica, 
Broussa, or Adrianople ; and though, during the 
last thirty or forty years, Thessaly has been po- 
litically in a more unfortunate position than any of 
the surrounding provinces, still the mulberry is 
extensively spread over these regions, the quality 
of the trees preferred, and the skill of the in- 
habitants esteemed above that of any other dis- 
trict of European or Asiatic Turkey. The spinning 
of cotton yarn had also here made extraordinary 
progress ; and, at the close of the last century, the 
exportation of dyed yarn, principally the Turkish 
red, was enormous, not only Jo every portion of 
the Levant, but to Europe. This prosperity and 
industry have been sacrificed by the strangely 
combined effects of Russian policy and of English 
industry ; the first having convulsed their political 
state, the second having supplanted their manu- 
factures, not only in every foreign market, but in 
their own. 

So important a place had Tournovo become 
in the middle of the seventeenth century, that the 
Sultan for a while established his court here in so 
formal a manner, that he w r as attended by various 
representatives of the Christian powers. The 



same year, 1669, an English traveller visited 
Tournovo, and has left a short but valuable ac- 
count of his residence in Thessaly. He tells us 
'* that Tournovo was a large and pleasant city, 
with eighteen churches and three mosques." This 
latter fact is of some importance, as it shews that 
this place, of exclusively Turkish creation, and the 
institutions of which were, according to our no- 
tions, far more religious than political, was com- 
posed of six times as many Christians as Mussul- 
mans, indicating a most remarkable feature in 
Islamism, and which I was no less astonished at 
first to observe, than I am confident at present in 
asserting — the protection which, in its religious 
government, it affords to other faiths and their 





The selection of Tournovo for the imperial resi- 
dence, by the monarch whose reign was the very 
cumulation of the tide of Ottoman conquest, and 
the commencement of its ebb, has associated with 
this place many of the events that belong to the 
public history of Europe. 

The long reign of Mohammed IV. was the 
intermediate epoch between the triumphs of the 
hero, the codes of the legislator, and the pompous 
nullity of the caged puppets of the seraglio ; and 
while the Ottoman standard was planting on 
" Troy's rival, Candia," the now unwarlike, but still 
spirited, Lord of Constantinople, and successor of 
the Urcans, Mohammeds, Selims, Murads, and So- 
leymans, was chasing the wild deer of Pelion and 
Olympus, and displaying his sylvan pomp at La- 
rissa and Tournovo. 

This prince ascended the throne, which he 
occupied for nearly half a century, at the tender 


age of seven. His taste was formed, and his 
inclination bent, by the dexterity of the octo- 
genarian Mohammed Kiupreli, to passions and 
pursuits which, during the whole period of his 
long reign, left the sceptre and the sword, which 
they wielded so well, to the family of the Kiupreli. 

To the remote scene of the Sultan's recre- 
ations, Pashas, Generals, Vizirs, and Embassies, 
were seen hastening; and the splendour of the 
seraglio, with its ceremonial, was transferred to 
mountain-wastes and deserts ; amid untrodden 
forests arose halls of western tapestry, and of 
Indian texture, rivalling in grandeur, and sur- 
passing in richness, the regal palaces of the Bos- 

Brussa, the Asiatic Olympus, the field of Troy, 
the sides of Ida, the banks of the Ma?ander, the 
plains of Sardis, were the favourite resorts of this 
equal lover of the chase and of nature. But the 
places more particularly honoured by his pre- 
ference, were Yamboli, in the Balkan, about fifty 
miles to the north of Adrianople, and Tournovo. 
Whenever he arrived or departed, the inhabitants 
of fifteen districts turned out to assist him in his 
sport ; these festivities were rendered attractive to 
the people by exhibitions and processions somewhat 
in the spirit of ancient Greece, as well as in that of 
Tartary,* where all the esnafs or trades, displayed 

* Formerly there were similar exhibitions every fourth year 
at Vevais. 


in procession the wonders of their art, or the 
symbols of their calling, and in which exhibitions 
of rare objects and grotesque figures were com- 
bined with theatric pantomime. 

During the sojourn of Sultan Mohammed at 
Tournovo, this now insignificant village became 
the residence of the representatives of the powers 
of Europe. There were then assembled, with all 
the gay, picturesque, and diversified trappings and 
liveries of their various countries, and of that dress- 
loving age, the numerous retinues that followed 
the Imperial, the French, the Spanish, and the 
English Envoys. Russians, Dutchmen, Poles, 
Swedes, Ragusans, Transylvanians, in their na- 
tional costumes, and in numbers sufficient to pre- 
serve the distinctive tone and habits of their native 
lands, might there be seen loitering before the 
gateways of the various residences, lounging about 
the public places, or retailing the news of their 
respective homes in the coffee-houses, which then 
began to compete with the barbers' shops * for the 
resort of the fashionables of the day. 

* "During the hot season," says Brown, in 1669, "we 
went often to the barber, who would handsomely perform his 
work, much to our refreshment, trimming each man according 
to the fashion of his country. The Greeks preserve a ring of 
hair on the centre of their heads, and shave the rest. The 
Croatian has one side of his head shaved, and the other grows 
as it will. The Hungarian shaves his whole head, except his 
fore-top. The Polander has his hair cut short. The Turk 
shaves his whole head, save a lock. The Franks wear their 


It scarcely seems possible that such should 
have been the scene presented by Tournovo only 
a hundred and sixty years ago, and yet these are 
but the appendages. The court of the Sultan, 
with a whole army of officers, attendants, hunts- 
men, and falconers, with all the interesting accom- 
paniments of the chase, displaying a variety of 
costume, which, for splendour, richness, and di- 
versity, must have exceeded that of any former 
period of the Ottoman Empire, and the dignity of 
which had not then degenerated, as it afterwards 
did, into an excess, cumbersome in use, and bur- 
lesque in effect. 

The plain around was adorned with vast tents, 
of light green, with gilded balls; but tents that 
resembled palaces rather than marquees ; some of 
them with twenty and thirty poles, and many of 
the poles twenty-five feet in height, divided into 
various apartments, with windows opening through 
their cloth separations ; Persian carpets, spread 
below rich divans, reigning round ; curtains, lined 
with brocade, velvet, and Cachmere shawls, drawn 
open in front, or cast up and stretched forward 

hair long only for the more amiable converse ; and, that nothing 
about them might be offensive to those they live amongst, they 
often tuck it up under their caps. The party to be shaved sits 
low, so that the barber has the better advantage. There is a 
vessel of water, with a cock, hanging over their hands, which 
the barber opens as he pleases, and lets fall the water on them. 
The Thessalians," he observes, " wear hats with brims like 


on other poles, so as to afford an extensive 
shade ; the sides, the separations, the cushions, 
and the slips that are passed over the cords, most 
beautifully embroidered in needlework.* 

It was at this time, and more particularly at 
Tournovo, that commenced that system of haughty 
and ignominious treatment f which, up to a very 
recent period, has disgraced Turkey and incensed 
Europe. Then commenced, too, the perfidious 
system of Dragomans, w 7 hich confided to a few 
Latin adventurers, from the islands of the Archi- 
pelago, the counsels of every European state, and 
rendered these adventurers the intermediaries, or, 
to speak more truly, the representatives of those 
states at the Porte. J 

Then, too, commenced the more direct and 
systematic interference of the Greeks in the affairs 
of the Ottoman Empire ; and from Tournovo is 
dated the Berat that appointed the first Greek a 
Dragoman of the Porte. From Tournovo departed 

* Some of the same tents may still be seen in the repo- 
sitories of the Sultan, and in those of the grandees. 

-j- " This was a time," says Von Hammer, " sufficiently 
hazardous for foreign diplomatists, when the French Ambassador 
was struck in the face, and beaten with a chair ; that of Russia 
kicked out of the audience chamber; the minister of Poland al- 
most killed, because he had not bent low enough ; and the 
Imperial Interpreter, and that of the Porte, several times 
stretched on the ground, and bastinadoed." 

X The Imperial Court (which had at first exhibited so stub- 
born an attachment for the German, that three interpreters and 


the Turkish Embassy to Paris, that excited the 
laughter of Europe by the ridiculous pretensions 
of the Turks ; and while this ambassador was 
actively employed in introducing into the saloons 
at Paris, coffee, which has created a revolution in 
our domestic tastes, a French cargo of false coin, 
smuggled into Constantinople, led to insurrection 
in the principal cities of the empire. 

The general feelings at that time, of Christen- 
dom towards Turkey, are indicated in the character 
and the conduct of the Knights of Malta. The 
motive assumed for plundering ships, interrupting 
commerce, and enslaving men, was — the Christian 
religion. The organization was supported by re- 
venues drawn from every state of Europe ; it was 
composed of the flower of European chivalry and 
nobility ; it was the field of distinction and the 
career of honour : the consequence could only be 
reciprocal hatred and wrong.* 

four languages were reported to have been used at a single in- 
terview) had alone, at this time, regular Dragomans ; but, by 
its constant intercourse and proximity, it subsequently found it 
necessary to abandon the system, and at present a competent 
knowledge of the Turkish language is a qualification required 
in a minister of Austria. 

Perhaps, also, while Austria had hostile projects, the Dra- 
goman system might prove useful ; and it has been abandoned, 
since her object has been conservation and peace. 

* " I am not the apologist,'* says a "Western diplomatist, " of 
Turkish prejudice, but it cannot be denied that the barbarous 
invasion and excesses of the mad Crusaders ; the persecutions 


Such were the circumstances which led to 
the insults which the Turks inflicted on the re- 
presentatives of Christendom, and which these 
representatives tamely bore. Then it was that a 
Turkish Minister first disdained to rise to receive 
a foreign ambassador ; and this point once yielded 
was irrecoverably lost, and all consideration and 
influence went with it, exemplifying the Russian 
proverb, — " There is but one step from the top 
of the stair to the bottom." The consequence was 
the humiliation of the foreign representatives by a 
treatment to which they had the meanness to 
submit, and which their courts had either not the 
spirit or the power to resent. Though, no doubt, 
the increased importance which the interpreters 
then obtained, and the prospects of emolument 
and influence held out to them in the degradation 
of the titular representatives of the Foreign 
Powers, must have induced this class of men to 
frustrate in every way the good dispositions of 
either party, and to fan the flame of discord be- 
tween functionaries ignorant of each other's lan- 
guage and manners. 

" However, in the midst of these circum- 

and final expulsion of the Mahometans from Spain ; the uniform 
language of all Christian writers, as well as the uniform conduct 
of all Christian states towards the Ottomans, have combined to 
furnish no slight justification of their feelings towards the nations 
of Europe." — Constantinople and its Environs, by an Ame- 
rican, vol. ii. p. 317. 


stances," adds the author above quoted, " the 
Imperial resident who had followed the camp, and 
sojourned at Tournovo, in the vicinity of Larissa, 
was so fortunate as to obtain three Berats in 
favour of commerce : the first for Tuscany, the 
second for Kaschan, the third for the Levant Com- 
pany." What increases the strange contrast be- 
tween the rudeness of the manners and the friend- 
liness of the acts of the Turks is, that while the 
foreign representatives were treated in this uncivil 
style, they received an allowance of thirty, fifty, 
and, on one occasion, of a hundred and fifty dollars 
per diem, for their sustenance, being considered as 

During the reign of Mohammed IV., and espe- 
cially under his father Ibrahim, the envoys of 
foreign states had occasionally been subject to 
violence and outrage. But there seems to have 
been no idea of systematically treating them as 
inferiors, because of the faith they professed. The 
animosity of a religious character proceeded, I 
fear, from the animosities and the acts of Europe : 
witness the depredations of the Knights of Malta — 
the scarcely less honourable enterprises of Genoa 
and Venice — the intermeddling of Russia in the 
affairs of the Greek Church — the hostile breath 
that constantly issued from the Vatican — the 
zeal of Spain, Austria, and particularly of France, 
in spreading all over the East, Jesuits, Franciscans, 
and Capuchins mixed up in political machinations. 


In ascending to an earlier period, we find the 
reception of an ambassador divested of the forms 
which, though of Greek origin, did not reappear 
with their full ceremonial until the age of Moham- 
med IV., and the accurate details which have 
been preserved of the various Austrian embassies 
to Sulejman the Great, exhibit the opinions of the 
Turks respecting the character of an ambassador, 
whom they consider as the agent, and by no 
means as the representative, of his sovereign ; and 
whom they respect rather as their guest, than as 
his master's envoy. 

Ibrahim, the Vizir of Soliman, on the introduc- 
tion of the envoys of Ferdinand, did not get up to 
meet them; — it was a long time before he even 
desired them to sit down (the conference lasted 
seven hours), but this was not through the recently 
supposed dogma of the unlawfulness of rising 
before a Christian ; for when the letter of Charles V. 
was presented, the Grand Vizir not only stood 
up to receive it, but remained standing as long as 
the conversation respecting Charles continued. 
His manner to the ambassadors arose from Ferdi- 
nand having called himself the brother of Ibra- 
him, and being called so by him in return. This 
brought the question of ceremony within the pale 
of Turkish ideas, and Ibrahim could not have 
thought of getting up to receive the agents of his 
younger brother. 

Ferdinand had sent, before the one I allude to, 


six embassies to negotiate for peace, without re- 
linquishing his title to Hungary. The seventh 
would probably have had no better success, but 
for the device resorted to by his "brother," and 
which is another illustration of those differences of 
ideas between the east and the west, which each 
has got into the unfortunate habit of designating 
in the other — prejudice. The following address 
to the Sultan, was suggested by the Grand Vizir 
to the Ambassadors, and by means of it peace was 

" The King Ferdinand, thy son, looks upon all 
thou possessest as his ; and all that is his, thou 
being his father, belongs to thee. He did not 
know that it was thy desire to retain for thyself 
the kingdom of Hungary, otherwise he would not 
have made war against thee. But since thou, his 
father, desirest to have it, he augurs thee fortune 
and health, not doubting that thou, as his parent, 
will assist him in the acquisition of this kingdom, 
and of many others." 

M. De Lahaye was the first ambassador whose 
ignominious treatment was taken as a precedent ; 
a secret intercourse was discovered between him 
and the Venetians, then at war with the Porte.* 
He was sent for from Constantinople; his son 
came in his place ; he was beaten and con- 

* The King of France had enrolled himself as a volunteer in 
one expedition against his ally the Sultan, and had borne the 
expenses of a second ! 


fined because he refused to read an intercepted 
letter written in cipher, and addressed to his father. 
M. De Lahaye himself then came ; he declared 
himself ignorant of the cipher, and was imprisoned 
also. Louis XIV. sent another ambassador, M. 
Blondel, to demand satisfaction ; he was the first 
who was placed on a stool. M. De Lahaye and 
his son were liberated from their prison ; but at the 
moment of their departure, a French vessel having 
carried off some Turkish merchandise, he was again 
locked up till a ransom should be paid for him. 

Some time afterwards, France sent back M. De 
Lahaye again as ambassador to the Sublime Porte. 
" He expected," says M. Von Hammer, " to be 
received as the minister of England and Austria, 
and refused the guard of only ten chaoushes sent 
him by the Grand Vizir. The following day he 
proceeded, without any state, to the French palace. 

" The Grand Vizir, incensed against France 
by the succour she had sent to Hungary, received 
him in a haughty manner, without getting up, and 
reproached him with the connexion of his country 
with the enemies of the Porte. JM. De Lahaye 
withdrew, and sent to the Grand Vizir to say that 
if again he did not rise on his entrance, he would 
restore the capitulations, and return to France. 
In a secotid interview, he was received in the 
same manner, and without the salute, on which 
M. De Lahaye threw the capitulations at the 
Grand Vizir's feet. The Grand Vizir called him a 


Jew. The Grand Chamberlain pushed him from 
the chair, and struck him with it. The ambas- 
sador attempted to draw his sword, but a chaoush 
gave him a blow in the face, and he was kept 
three days shut up at the Grand Vizir's, who, after 
consulting with the Mufti Vani Effendi, and the 
Capitan Pasha, resolved on giving him another 
audience, which should be regarded as the first. 
He met* the ambassador with a friendly salute, 
and said with a sardonic smile, " What is passed, 
is passed ; henceforward, let us be good 'friends." 
Thus an end was put to his stripes and blows, 
which, probably, the ambassador never communi- 
cated to his court, or which was intentionally 
omitted by the historian of French diplomacy." 

Subsequently to this period, Turkish ministers 
did not rise to receive European diplomatists, until 
new feelings were awakened in favour of one 
European power by the restitution of Egypt by 
English arms, when General Abercromby was 
styled " father " and " Pasha " f by the Turkish 

* The expression " met the ambasssador" would lead one 
to suspect that the result of the conference of these great 
functionaries was the compromise since practised of entering 
the audience chamber at the same moment. A subterfuge 
which proves and marks the change of style as well as the 
ignorance of the Europeans of Eastern etiquette ; which, 
indeed, must have been the principal cause of these broils, as it 
now is the sole but effectual barrier to all intercourse. 

t Yet this did not lead to any improvement of our position 
at Constantinople. There we were in the hands of the Dra- 


commanders, and treated accordingly. Our con- 
temptible policy in the expedition of 1807 against 
Egypt and against Constantinople, deprived us, it is 
true, of all the Eastern fruits of the policy of 1800. 
France, however, succeeded in gaining exten- 
sive prerogatives for the Jesuits and other Catholic 
fraternities ; indeed, during more than two centu- 
ries the whole influence and energy of France 
seemed to be directed by a conclave of inquisi- 
tors.* Attempts to convert the Greeks ; to unite 
the Greek Church to that of Rome ; squabbles 
about monasteries and churches throughout the 
whole of the Levant ; pretensions on the holy 
places of Jerusalem ; intrigues and insurrectionary 

gomans, whose interest, as a body, whether English, French, 
Russian, &c. is directly hostile to whatever leads to free inter- 
course of friendly feeling between the Turks and European 
diplomatists. It is true we then negotiated to obtain a better 
position, and on the plea of the reception of Lady Mary 
Wortley Montague ! We should have thought of the means 
adopted by Lady M. W. Montague. 

* I refer not to the enlightened views, on more than one 
occasion, of the Cabinet of Versailles, but to the general tone 
and character of the agents of France in the East. The Turks 
could not easily reconcile the decided support of France, on 
more than one critical occasion, with the unceasing support 
given by her agents to the avowed enemies of the Ottoman 
faith, and the incessant disturbers of the public peace. 
w Murad IV.," says Sir Thomas Roe, " expressed his amaze- 
ment that the friendship of the King of France could onlv be 
obtained by the tolerance and protection of traitors" (the 

VOL. I. A A. 


measures directed by the Jesuits, which threatened 
the public peace, and brought on reactions which 
endangered the whole European population,* — 
seemed to have been the principal occupation of the 
French mission. 

England disclaimed, in her character of Pro- 
testant, all community with a policy based on 
religious motives ; and marked to the Turks her 
religious separation from Catholic Europe. She 
consequently acquired, in Turkey, a consideration 
and an influence infinitely greater than her power 
or political position could otherwise have secured 
to her. 

u Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, Queen of 
England, France, and Ireland, powerful and invin- 
cible defender of the true faith against the idolaters 
that falsely profess the name of Christ." 

Such is the superscription of the letter of Eliza- 
beth to the Caliph of the Mussulmans. It explains 
how and why the influence of England stood so 
high. Here is an indication of the ideas and the 
policy of England in the times of the Cecils, the 
Raleighs, the Bacons, and the Sidneys. And to 

* On two occasions, the whole European population as- 
sembled in the churches of Pera and Galata, without any ex- 
pectation of a reprieve from the doom of extermination that 
hung over them. The frenzy or madness that excited such 
fearful retribution can, in the present age, only be conceived 
by those who have witnessed in the Levant the effects of the 
fanatic hatred, against each other, of the various Christian sects. 


the list of monarchs and statesmen who have felt 
the importance of Turkey to the political balance 
and system of Europe, — to the names of Gus- 
tavus III., Frederick II., Hertzberg, Napoleon, 
Chatham, Pitt, Talleyrand, and Metternich, — may, 
perhaps, also be added that of our " Virgin Queen." 

The spirit of Austrian diplomacy is displayed in 
the Imperial Embassy of 1616, which, on entering 
Constantinople, exhibited a flag, bearing, on one side, 
the Austrian eagle, and on the other, Christ on the 
cross. A general commotion was the result. The 
Greeks, the Jesuits, and the European powers were, 
all and each, suspected of having planned some 
daring conspiracy against the Sultan, the city, or 
the state. The Sultan patrolled the streets in 
person during the night ; the Jesuits were confined 
to the Seven Towers ; and the Austrian historian 
and diplomatist exults in recording the fulfilment 
of the prophecy of the commencement of the decline 
of the Ottoman Empire, which, however, he had 
already announced in the middle of the previous 
century ! and which even before that he had fixed 
as having commenced in the reigns of Bajazet II. 
and Selim I. 

The dissolution of that empire has been, of late 
years, universally established throughout Europe, 
with the exception of the Russian Cabinet, as one 
of those axioms regarding which, neither doubt 
could arise, nor difference exist. It created some 

Irprise when a recent publication pointed out that 


doctrine as spread by the emissaries of Peter the 
First ; but the Austrian historian mentions it 
nearly half a century before Peter, as the bond of 
union of Greeks, monks, interpreters, and Hospo- 
dars. But what will be said to the fact, that a 
century previous even to this period, and when 
Suleyman the Great was taking Rhodes and mena- 
cing Vienna, that the Muscovite Prince Vassili was 
impressing on the Emperor Maximilian the decline 
of the Turkish power, and the facility with which 
he could expel them from Europe ! In consequence 
of the abesnce of a common language, and of the 
means of direct intercourse, there has been an 
uninterrupted series of false conclusions, drawn 
from facts ill appreciated, of everyday occurrence. 
It is not, therefore, to be wondered at if these con- 
clusions have wholly prevailed since the Ottoman 
power has ceased to make itself feared, since similar 
conclusions were admitted even while the whole of 
Europe trembled at its name. 

Under Mohammed IV. was first developed the 
influence of the Greek Church as an instrument in 
the hands of Russia against the Ottomans. 

The conqueror of Constantinople had seen 
with gratification, and fostered with encourage- 
ment, the connexion between the Sclavonic people 
and the Patriarch of Constantinople, as a means of 
extending the power of the Porte towards the 
north ; but the Turks were not crafty enough, as 
men, to follow out such a scheme, and too power- 


ful, as a nation, to adopt indirect means. In two 
centuries afterwards, that is, under Mohammed IV., 
we find the Porte startled by the revelation of a 
political union being organised, by means of the 
Church, between the Czar of Muscovy and the 
Greek inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire. A 
Patriarch, put to death in consequence of this dis- 
covery,* tended but to increase the dangers that 
were thus revealed ; and we subsequently find, at 
the same moment, an embassy from Poland, sent 
to warn the Sultan of a design, on the part of the 
Czar, to revolutionise the Greeks, and the Patriarch 
of Constantinople invited to Moscow to organise 
the Church. 

Thus was the game of the present times re- 
hearsed nearly two centuries ago ; the same in- 
tensity of purpose evinced, and precisely the same 
means employed. The problem is, therefore, of 
difficult solution, how Russia, having become ap- 
parently so strong, and Turkey apparently so 
weak, the unremitting use of such powerful means 
of disorganisation has not long ago effected, and is 

* In an intercepted letter to the Prince of Wallachia from 
this Patriarch, created in 1657, there is this expression: — 
" Islamism approaches to its end ; the universal dominion of 
the Christian (Greek) faith is at hand ; and the Lords of the 
Cross and the Bell will soon be, also, Lords of the Empire." 
The letter was one of thanks for 100,000 ducats, sent by the 
Prince to the " Lords of the Bell," the iMonks of Mount Athos. 


not sufficient yet to effect, the total subversion of 
the Ottoman power ? 

This period, so memorable, of Mohammed IV., 
by the introduction into Turkey, or the establish- 
ment there, of a system hostile to itself as of 
feelings inimical to Europe, coincides with the in- 
troduction into Europe of principles as injurious to 
the progress of man as to the friendly intercourse 
of nations. At this period it was that Colbert 
introduced into France the ideas of supporting 
national industry by fictitious protection, and of 
rendering those protections subservient to the 
revenues of the state. 

This fatal notion has spread to all nations, with 
the exception of Turkey, fortunately, perhaps, for 
future generations, protected from this infection by 
its natural hatred to every thing coming from the 
West. Wherever this so termed " protection sys- 
tem" has been introduced, animosity has sprung 
up between the various interests and classes of a 
nation, disguised under the name of principle, and 
a cankerous evil has been spread over the relations 
of human intercourse, under the title of laws. To 
this cause has been referred, even by European 
writers, every revolution and every war in Europe 
since 1667.* 

* For instance, Brougham (Colonial Policy) ; Parnell 
(Commercial Treaty with France) ; Storck (Cours d'Economie 


Nearly of the same date as the Ordonnances of 
Colbert was the Navigation Act of England, which 
at the time was but a record of a state of things, 
but which indirectly involved England in foreign 
difficulties and dangers, from its adoption by other 
nations, and its application by them to herself. 
This (a sister fallacy to that of Colbert) contri- 
buted its share to the public convulsions of Europe, 
and assisted in repressing those energies, and re- 
tarding that progress, to which the splendid and 
rapid discoveries in science and mechanics had 
given so vast an extension, and so unparalleled an 

These fundamental errors now produce doubt 
and schism on all social and political questions in 
the minds of Europeans, so powerful in disqui- 
sition, so stored with information. But the eastern 
statesmen may well inquire why their finances are 
involved in the midst of unparalleled production ? 
Why a large portion of their population is plunged 
in misery and crime, while wealth regorges, and 
philanthropy abounds ? Why nations, desiring 
harmony and professing peace, make war on each 
other's commerce, as if it were an infectious 
disease ? 

The ancient frame of government still pre- 
served in Turkey may yet, however, through 
the new ideas and the larger views to which, by 
extending the field of inquiry, it may give birth, 


contribute to sounder opinions on financial ques- 
tions ; and the system of free trade, not overthrown 
in that empire, may be taken advantage of by 
England to establish an alliance of nations, based 
on freedom of commerce, which may counteract 
the restrictions that are gradually pressing upon 
her energies, and which threaten, at no remote pe- 
riod, to exclude her political influence, as well as 
her manufactures, from the continent of Europe. 




At Larissa, as there is no Frank population, and 
no Consuls, we found it practicable to gain ad- 
mission into Turkish society ; and we saw at the 
Archbishop's, or were taken by him to visit, the 
principal citizens of the town, and the Beys and 
proprietors of the neighbourhood. We were, on 
our side, an object of some curiosity to them, for 
the arrival of Europeans, at such a moment, was a 
strange and interesting event. 

But, after the friendly terms on which we had 
lived with the Albanian Mussulmans, it was no 
easy thing to descend to the grade which a 
Christian occupies in Turkey, and which is quite 
sufficient to justify the animosity which residents 
and travellers, not ascending to its source, have 
entertained against the Turks. This ignominious 
treatment of Europeans I conceive, in a great 
measure, to have been the cause of the absence of 
inquiry into the mind and institutions of Turkey, 


on the part of those who have visited it. The 
door to social intercourse was not only shut against 
them, but flung back in their face. All sympathy 
and interest was thus at once cut short ; and, 
without a considerable share of both, no man will 
apply himself to laborious investigation. 

If you question a Turk as to the reason why 
. he will not get up to receive a European ? Why 
he will not lay his hand on his breast, when he 
bids him welcome ? Why he will not give him the 
salutation of peace ? Why the meanest Turk 
would conceive himself disgraced by serving a 
European, and the poorest would spurn the bread 
bought by such service ?* The Turk will answer, 
** My religion forbids me." 

No wonder, then, that the stranger, taking this 
assertion to be true, and not understanding the in- 
fluence and power of manners, attributes this state 
of intercourse to religion, and sets down Islamism 
as a morose and anti-social creed, and that there 
his investigations cease. 

The Archbishop, while he acted the part of a 
chaperon, which he did admirably, was sure to 

* There are instances of Europeans having Turks as gar- 
deners or as grooms, but these servants will not be resident in 
the establishment ; and, though they will do their duty to their 
master, they will not shew him any sign of respect. They will treat 
him, in manner and in the choice of epithets, as an inferior, 
which the European may not understand, but to which, should 
he understand it, he is obliged to submit. 


keep us informed, to the full extent, of every dis- 
respect, in manner or in terms, applied to us ; a 
service which, at the time, we were little disposed 
to estimate at its full and real value. For instance, 
the news of the death of George IV. arrived. We 
were not left in ignorance that the intelligence 
was conveyed from mouth to mouth amongst the 
Turks, by the words (they all speak Greek) "YStiurs o 
K^a/. rrjg AyylJac, " the Krai of England has burst," 
an expression applied to animals when they die. 

We were one evening invited to supper at a 
Turkish Bey's, a circumstance at that time wholly 
new to us. The table of the Turk, as his door, is 
open to every comer, whatever his faith or station ; 
but an invitation in a formal manner, together with 
the kindness and attention that were shewn us (sub- 
ject always to the nonobservances above indicated), 
was a mark of interest quite novel and unexpected ; 
we, therefore, returned home delighted and exult- 
ing. But, the next day, the Archbishop, fearful that 
we should be run away with, informed us, that, no 
sooner had we departed, than a general hilarity 
had been produced by observations on our style 
and manners, and on the errors of etiquette of 
which we had been guilty ; and that, when we 
were spoken of, if any one designated us by the 
title of the English Bey Zadehs, he immediately 
added, \jX cvyyjootGiv, " with your pardon," an ex- 
pression which they use after the mention of a pig, 
an ass, or the like. 


However, we daily found our position altering ; 
a general change of tone and manner on their 
part, and probably on ours, ensued : and, with one 
or two men of superior minds, the first steps were 
then made of a long and lasting friendship. 

A European doctor, a miserable quack, proved 
of considerable service to us. We went nowhere 
without him ; and, at first, he was quite an 
authority with us ; but the progress we had 
made was brought sensibly before us, when we 
came to feel the necessity of getting rid of this 
noxious appendage. We now began to perceive 
that the treatment of Europeans by Turks pro- 
ceeded from the natural contempt they entertained 
for that hat-and-breeches-wearing population which 
infests every part of Turkey, in the character of 
Charlatans in medicine and other arts, of Drago- 
mans, vagabonds, and the drivers of still less 
honourable speculations. Thence are their opi- 
nions drawn respecting all those who wear hats 
and tight clothes ; while the forms thus established 
between the two faiths, or rather the two cos- 
tumes, render it perfectly impossible for any man 
of education, or of generous feelings, to enter their 
service, or to be attached to their persons. 

So essentially are all the details of external 
life bound up with the opinions and the feelings of 
a Turk, that it is next to impossible for him to 
separate, from things or ideas, the external signs 
by which he has been accustomed as representing 


them. A European, possessing perfectly their lan- 
guage and their literature, having that character of 
mind which is fitted to gain an influence over 
them, will yet remain, however he may be really 
respected, distinct from their society ; and it would 
be unfair in him towards his friends to exact those 
observances which, nevertheless, are absolutely es- 
sential to the possession of influence, or even to 
the enjoyment of social intercourse ; let him 
change, however, his costume, and his position is 
immediately changed. But the costume alone is 
of little, if of any use, until a man is capable of 
acting his part as those who wear it. 

A Frenchman, who had been travelling in the 
eastern parts of Turkey, meeting me one day in a 
Turkish costume, expressed his astonishment at 
my resigning myself to the hardships attendant 
on the wearer of such a dress. I was rather puzzled 
at his observation, and supposed he alluded to the 
difficulties attendant on supporting the character ; 
so I answered, that I had at times found it to be so, 
stating the reasons why. Nothing could exceed 
the amazement of the French traveller at my ex- 
planation ; and he informed me, that having started 
on a botanical excursion of three years, some one, 
for his sins, had recommended to him to put on 
the costume of the Faithful ; that he, in conse- 
quence, had run the greatest risks ; he had been 
every where insulted, several times beaten, and on 
lore occasions than one had with difficulty escaped 


with his life. I saw at once that there must have 
been some glaring deviation from manners or cos- 
tume ; and, after putting a few questions to him, I 
discovered that, with a gay Osmanli turban, he had 
worn a beard, which was not pricked away from 
the corner of the ear downwards, so that whoever 
glanced at him could not fail to set him down for a 
Jew, passing himself off for a Mussulman. When 
I explained to him the cause of his mishaps, after 
musing for a while, he declared that I must be 
wrong ; because, although it was true that every 
body used to call him H Jew," yet that his Tartar 
always denied that he was a Jew, and would have 
told him how to trim his beard, if that really had 
been the cause of his troubles. I replied, that pro- 
bably his* Tartar thought him a Jew, but that he 
endeavoured to protect him from the application of 
the word " Chifoot," while he might see no harm in 
their applying to him the term " Yahoody," both 
equally signifying Jew, but the first being a term of 

He admitted that he recollected those two 
words. "But," said he, "what made the thing 
more strange was, that I was travelling with a 
companion, and every night we used to dispute 
which of us was most like to a Jew. My friend 
had a black beard, and I had a red one. I used to 
call him ' Jew,' and he used to retort by calling me 
Judas Iscariot. At length I shaved my beard ; 
but we were not a bit the better off : my friend's 


black beard then went ; but still, wherever we 
went, ' Chifoot, Chifoot,' was hallooed out." " How 
high," I inquired, "did you shave your beard?" 
" How high ? " answered he with amazement, " I 
never thought of that." " Then," I replied, " you 
have shaved your beard and whiskers not quite to 
the line of the turban ; so that a lock of hair has 
appeared close to your ear, which is the distinctive 
sign of Jews w r ho shave their beards ! " " What a 
pity," he said, "that I did not hear this before, 
instead of after, my journey." I thought that the 
pity was that a man should travel in a country before 
studying its manners, and reason on it before under- 
standing its feelings. 

Among a class of young men in the capital, 
chiefly belonging to the regular troops, there is an 
affectation of every thing European. Among them 
it is no extraordinary thing for a European to find 
himself treated, as he supposes, with every external 
mark of courtesy ; but a position which is only to 
be gained by a change that remains to be effected, 
and cannot be so without difficulty and without 
danger, and the sphere of which is limited and in- 
significant, is scarcely worthy of observation. To 
establish the fact that a European may place him- 
self within the pale of the national feeling, is, 
I conceive, of the deepest importance, either as 
throwing light on the Turkish character, or as 
affording a new means of action on the Turkish 


I make these observations after two years inter- 
course with Mussulmans, on the footing of the 
most entire and perfect equality. It is true that 
many of my friends, for a long time, severally 
believed that they alone were in the habit of treat- 
ing me in such a manner ; that such conduct was in 
violation of the precepts of their religion, and was 
only justified in my case from a supposed difference 
with other Europeans. It is perhaps superfluous to 
add, that in the faith of Islamism there is not the 
slightest ground for this supposition. Had it been 
so, Constantinople never could have been theirs. 
As a notable instance of the reverse, the Conqueror 
of Constantinople not only got up to receive the 
Greek Patriarch, his subject and a Christian, but 
accompanied him to the door of his palace, and 
sent all his ministers on foot to conduct him 

But, whatever have been the wrongs, feelings, 
or habits of the past, a reaction has now taken 
place in Turkey in favour of Europe. The change 
of dress, in imitation of those nations whose policy 
has been so injurious to them, exhibits great docility 

* What a contrast with the Western feelings regarding reli- 
gious toleration is exhibited in the conquest of Constantinople 
by the Turks and by the Latins. When Dandolo planted the 
banner of St. Mark on the dome of St. Sophia, the Christian 
invaders placed in mockery, on the patriarchal throne, a pro- 
stitute, wearing on her brows the mitre, and holding in her hand 
the pastoral crook which Constantine had bestowed. 



of mind, and proves that there has existed, un- 
observed by us, or, at all events, that there now 
exists among them, a spirit of imitativeness, which, 
in a nation (if well directed) contains the element 
of progress and amelioration. And, as if to render 
this proof the more conclusive, that which they 
have imitated has neither inherent merit nor ex- 
ternal attractions. Now a new duty devolves upon 
us, — that of directing their docility, and assisting 
their selection. 

If undirected, their imitation will be of external 
things, which can bring no good, but may do much 
evil, by destroying habits, which are the signs of 
thought, the expression of feelings, and the test of 
duties. At present, I have no hesitation in saying 
that the Turks have no individual possessed of a 
thorough knowledge of Europe ; and yet no man, not 
perfectly and equally conversant with the ideas, in- 
struction, and institutions of the East and of the 
West, can reason to a satisfactory conclusion re- 
specting what they ought, or ought not, to imitate. 
Amongst us there is no one sufficiently acquainted 
with their institutions and character to be able to 
become their guide. However beneficial, therefore, 
this change of disposition might be, were we in 
knowledge equal to the position offered us, it is to 
me a subject, under actual circumstances, involv- 
ing much anxiety and serious apprehension. They 
have raised the anchor in a tide-way before ma- 
turely considering whether there was a necessity 

VOL. I. B B 


of shifting their ground. They are losing their 
hold before the sails have drawn. That is passed ; 
now the moorings of custom are cast off; the 
vessel is moving ; and those who have a stake 
on board, ought not to rely on chance for his 
getting into port. 




To understand the effect produced on an Eastern 
by the manners and address of a European, we 
must be conversant with their feelings, and ignorant 
of our own. 

The first is a matter of some difficulty ; the 
second requires an effort of mental abstraction, of 
rather an unwonted kind. When a stranger enters 
a new country, he will be struck only with those 
points of its manners which he does not compre- 
hend ; and the native, understanding all points 
equally well, is, by his knowledge of himself, pre- 
vented from comprehending the effect which he 
himself produces on the stranger. I will now, 
therefore, previously to bringing the Frank tra- 
veller before him, request the reader to forget, for 
a moment, that he is cased in stiff-collar coat 
and boots, and fancy himself enveloped in flowing 
robes, or clad in richly embroidered vestments, re- 
posing, but not with negligence, on the broad and 

b b 2 


cushioned sofa of an eastern room ; but that word 
is not to be so easily disposed of. The word "oda" 
we must translate room ; but there is no word in 
our language that can express the idea of " oda," 
because we have not the thing. The habits of social 
intercourse in the East could not subsist a day in 
such lodgings as our western habitations afford ; it 
is, therefore, requisite to commence with describing 
the form and attributes of an eastern room. 

We build our houses with reference not to the 
inside, but to the out. It is the aspect of the ex- 
terior, not the comfort of the apartment, that 
engages our attention. We follow the rules of 
architecture strictly in the details and decorations 
of the stones of which it is built, and positively 
have not, at this day, any fixed rules or principles 
for the construction of the portion we are ourselves 
to occupy, nor have we any idea of the existence 
of such rules in any other country, or in any 
former age. 

The consequence is, that our rooms are of all 
shapes, and have no settled character. They have 
no parts. There is a commingling of doors and 
windows, neither of these being rendered available 
for determining the top, bottom, and sides. The 
position of the seats is equally undefined, so that, 
in regard to parts, character, proportion, access, 
light, and accommodation, our apartments are re- 
gulated by no intelligible principles, and cannot be 


rendered subservient to the social purposes of a 
people between whom laws have not established 
broad lines of demarcation, and who, therefore, in 
the adjustment of the grades of society, preserve 
the natural inequality of men. Forms of etiquette, 
in their infinite variety, become the expression of 
public opinion in determining rank and station. 
Thus, a room in the East is not a box, shut in 
from the weather, and converted into an apart- 
ment solely by the value of the materials employed 
to construct or adorn it ; it is a whole, composed 
of determined parts, and capable of logical de- 
finition by its parts ; it is a structure regulated by 
fixed and invariable principles ; it is a court like a 
college hall, where each individual's grade may be 
known by the place he occupies ; and, while thus 
constituted, it serves equally as our rooms for all 
the purposes of domestic life. There distinctive 
characters become a portion of domestic life and 
duties, and are associated with the public cha- 
racter of the state. Thus, to the stranger, a 
knowledge of the attributes, if I may so say, of 
the " Room," is the first step to acquaintance with 
the East. The reader may have seen, at Pompeii, 
the prototypes of the rooms I refer to, or he may 
have heard or read of the Greek and Roman tri- 
clinium ; but I may, I think, safely assert, that the 
measurement and examination of these apartments 
would lead no man to imagine that social habits, 


ideas, and principles, different from ours, are indi- 
cated by these forms and proportions. But, if it 
can be shewn that certain social characters are 
connected with, and have given rise to, the struc- 
ture of the apartment now used by the Turks, and 
if it is true that their domestic architecture ought 
to be understood by whoever seeks to become ac- 
quainted with their ideas and manners, then must 
we admit that, in the East of this day, those social 
details, those moral feelings, and living habits, are 
to be seen, which coincided with a similar domestic 
architecture 2000 years ago. I therefore dwell on 
the form of the room as illustrative no less of 
antiquity than of Turkey. 

In Turkey, the room is the principle of all 
architecture ; it is the unit, of which the house is 
the aggregate. No one cares for the external form 
of a building. Its proportions, its elegance, or 
effect, are never considered. The architect, as the 
proprietor, thinks only of the apartments, and 
there no deviation from fixed principles is tole- 
rated. Money and space are equally sacrificed to, 
give to each chamber its fixed form, light, and 
facility of access, without having to traverse a 
passage or another apartment to reach it. 

Every room is composed of a square, to 
which is added a rectangle, so that it forms an 

* See wood-cut. 

/ ■ t indr. (Arabia) Breast 
2.Jentb, (D") Side 
5, OpeaBoor 







2 ! 




- " " 

1 ' 


4. IJepressedRoor 
b , B alus tr ade s 
6, Cupboards. 


LxLerior Aspect o£a 





R Maj^ui £ Co IjxK 26, linqAcrt. 


There must be no thoroughfare through it. It 
must be unbroken in its continuity on three sides. 
The door or doors must be on one side only, 
which, then, is the "bottom;" the windows at 
another and the opposite side, which, then, is " the 
top." The usual number of the windows at the 
top is four, standing contiguous to each other. 
There may be, also, windows at the ■* sides," but 
then they are close to the windows at the top, 
and they ought to be in pairs, one on each side ; 
and, in a perfect room, there ought to be twelve 
windows, four on each of the three sides of the 
square ; but, as this condition cannot always be 
realised, the room in each house, so constructed, 
is generally called u the kiosk," as kiosks, or 
detached rooms, are always so constructed. 

Below the square, is an oblong space, generally 
depressed a step ; sometimes, in large apartments, 
separated by a balustrade, and sometimes by co- 
lumns. This is the space allotted to the servants, 
who constantly attend,* in a Turkish establish- 
ment, and regularly relieve each other. The 

* Men of the very lowest rank often enter the apartment of 
the Turkish grandee. Elders, old men, tradesmen, &c. are al- 
ways asked to sit down, which this form of apartment permits of, 
without infringement of respect or etiquette. Even those who 
are not invited to sit down come and stand below the balus- 
trade, and thus every class in Turkey becomes acquainted with 
the other ; and the idea of animosity between different grades or 
classes of society, is what never entered any man's head. 


bottom of the room is lined with wooden work. 
Cupboards, for the stowage of bedding ; open 
spaces, like pigeon-holes, for vases, with water, 
sherbet, or flowers ; marble slabs and basins, for a 
fountain, with painted landscapes as a back-ground. 
In these casements' are the doors. At the sides, 
in the angles, or in the centre, of this lower 
portion, and over the doors, curtains are hung, 
which are held up by attendants as you enter. 

It is this form of apartment which gives to 
their houses and kiosks so irregular, yet so pic- 
turesque an air. The rooms are jutted out, and 
the outline deeply cut in, to obtain the light 
requisite for each room. A large space is conse- 
quently left vacant in the centre, from which all 
the apartments enter; this central hall, termed 
" Divan Hani" gives great dignity to an Eastern 

The square portion of the room is occupied on 
the three sides by a broad sofa, with cushions all 
round, leaning against the wall, and rising to the 
sill of the windows, so that, as you lean on them, 
you command the view all round. The effect of 
this arrangement of the seats and windows is, that 
you have always your back to the light, and your 
face to the door. The continuity of the windows, 
without intervening wall or object, gives a perfect 
command of the scene without ; and your position 
in sitting makes you feel, though in a room, con- 


stantly in the presence of external nature. The 
light falls also in a single mass, and from above, 
affording pictorial effects dear to the artist. The 
windows are seldom higher than six feet. Above 
the windows, a cornice runs all round the room, 
and from it hang festoons of drapery. Above this, 
up to the ceiling, the wall is painted with ara- 
besque flowers, fruit, and arms. Here there is a 
second row of windows, with double panes of stained 
glass. There are curtains on the lower windows, 
but not on the upper ones. If necessary or desir- 
able, the light below may be excluded ;* but it is 
admitted from above, mellowed and subdued by 
stained glass. The roof is highly painted and orna- 
mented. It is divided into two parts. The one 
which is over the square portion of the room occu- 
pied by the triclinium, is also square, and some- 
times vaulted ; the other is an oblong portion over 
the lower part of the room close to the door ; this 
is generally lower and flat. 

The sofa, which runs round three sides of the 
square, is raised about fourteen inches. A deep 
fringe, or festoons of puckered cloth, hang down to 
the floor.f The sofa is a little higher before than 
behind ; and is about four feet in width. The 

* In the harems the lower windows are latticed. 

T On the floor there are seldom carpets. Fine mats are 
used in summer, felt in winter, and over that, cloth the same as 
on the sofas, which has an effect, in the simplicity and unity of 


angles are the seats of honour;* though there is no 
idea of putting two persons on the same footing by 
placing one in one corner, and another in the other. 
The right corner is the chief place ; then the sofa 
along the top, and general proximity to the right 
corner. But even here the Eastern's respect for 
man above circumstances is shewn. The relative 
value of the positions all round the room are 
changed, should the person of the highest rank 
accidentally occupy another place. These combi- 
nations are intricate, but they are uniform. 

So far the room is ancient Greek. The only 
thing Turkish is a thin square cushion or shilteh, 
which is laid on the floor in the angle formed by 
the divan, and is the representative of the sheep- 
skin of the Turcoman's tent. It is by far the most 
comfortable place; and here, not unfrequently, the 
Grandees, when not in ceremony, place themselves, 
and then their guests sit upon the floor around, 
personifying a group of their nomade ancestors. 

In the change of customs effected during the 
last few years, nothing has been more injurious, 
and more to be deplored, than the degradation of 
taste, and loss of comfort, in the style of their 

colour, which is most remarkable. In the actual breaking up of 
habits, one of the first things that went was taste in colour. 
The modern houses present the most shocking and vulgar 

* So also among the ancient Greeks. 


The attempt at imitating what they did not 
understand, has produced a confusion inconvenient 
in practice and ridiculous in effect. The high nar- 
row sofa which you now see stuck at one end of 
the room, like a long chest with a padded cover, 
and chairs round the others, is neither Oriental 
nor European ; and the doors ornamented with 
chintz curtains, festooned and drawn to either side, 
and tucked up to lackered copper-work, would 
make a stranger think that all around he sees the 
ends of tent-beds. The construction of palaces for 
the Sultan, in imitation of Europe, with straight 
and regular lines, has entirely sacrificed that form 
of apartments which was not only so elegant, con- 
venient, and classical; but which was intimately 
associated with their habits, and therefore with 
principles and with duties. 

In the modern buildings, the walls are painted 
of one colour, and the roofs of another ; and style 
and taste, comfort and originality, have disappeared 
from their buildings as completely as from their 
dress : but these aberrations of the day must be 
kept out of sight till we have formed to ourselves a 
clear idea of the original type, when alone we can 
be able to judge of the value of what exists, and of 
the effect of alterations. 

This form of apartment, the happy selection 
of position, the rigid uniformity of structure, the 
total absence of these ornamental details which 
make our rooms look like storeshops, must have 


been the abode of a people sober in mind and dig- 
nified in manner, while the ample means of accom- 
modation for guests, indicated a hospitable character 
and a convivial spirit. The undeviating form of 
the apartment leaves no ambiguity as to the relative 
position which each individual is entitled to occupy, 
while the necessity of that arrangement is itself 
the effect of a freer intercourse between various 
ranks, than would be practicable with our manners 
and apartments. Position in a room becomes 
therefore a question of gravity and importance. It 
was by seeing Easterns first introduced into our 
apartments, and the confusion into which they 
were thereby thrown, that the effect of the form of 
their apartments on their manners, and the con- 
nexion of the one and the other, first occurred 
to me. 

This mode of construction, independent of its 
superiority with regard to light, and modes of 
approach, has also the advantage of combining 
economy (in furniture, if not in architecture) with 
elegance, and simplicity with dignity. It is cha- 
racteristic of the order, cleanliness, and decorum of 
their domestic habits. 

The reader has now, I hope, some idea of the 
place of reception, and, consequently, of the im- 
portance of presenting himself with self-possession, 
but without presumption, and with a consciousness 
that his personal consideration is always contingent 
on his knowledge of the ideas and feelings of those 


around him. But, before introducing a European 
stranger, I must introduce a native visitor. 

The Osmanli guest rides into the court, dis- 
mounts on the stone for that purpose, close to the 
landing-place. He has been preceded and an- 
nounced by an attendant. A servant of the house 
gives notice to his master in the selamlik, not by 
proclaiming his name aloud, but by a sign, which 
intimates the visitor's rank, or, perhaps, even his 
name. The host, according to his rank, proceeds 
to meet him, at the foot of the stairs, at the top of 
the stairs, at the door of the room, or he meets 
him in the middle of the room, or he only steps 
down from the sofa, or stands up on the sofa, or 
merely makes a motion to do so.*^It belongs to 
the guest to salute first. As he pronounces the 
words " Selam Aleikum" he bends down, as if to 
touch or take up the dust, or the host's robe, with 
his right hand, and then carries it to his lips and 
forehead. The master of the house immediately 
returns, " Aleikum Selam," with the same action, 
so that they appear to bend down together. This 
greeting, quickly despatched, without pause or 

* If a stranger, unknown and unannounced, enters a room, 
the measure of his first step, the point where he stops to make 
his salutation, and the attitude he assumes preparatory to his 
doing so, wholly imperceptible as they would be to a European, 
convey, instantaneously, to the master of the house, the quality 
of the guest, the reception he expects, and which no man exacts 
without being entitled to. 


interval, instead of pointing the way, and disputing 
who is to go first, the master immediately precedes 
his guest into the room, and then, turning round, 
makes way for his passage to the corner, which, if 
he refuses to take, he may for a moment insist 
upon, and each may take the other's arm, as leading 
him to that part. With the exception of this single 
point, the whole ceremonial is performed with a 
smoothness and regularity, as if executed by ma- 
chinery. There is no struggle as to who is to 
walk first ; there is no offering and thanking, no 
moving about of seats or chairs ; no difficulty in 
selecting places ; there are no helpings ; no em- 
barrassment resulting from people not knowing, in 
the absence of a code of etiquette, what they have 
to do. There is no bowing and scraping at 
leave-taking, keeping people a quarter of an hour 
awkwardly on their legs ; every thing is smooth, 
tranquil, and like clockwork, every body knowing 
his place, and places and things being always the 

I feel considerable embarrassment in pursuing 
these details. The most important and solemn 
matters, when they belong to different customs, 
appear trivial, or even ridiculous, in narration. I 
must, therefore, crave the indulgence of the reader, 
and am encouraged to proceed, chiefly, in the be- 
lief that these details may enable future travellers 
to commence their intercourse with the East on less 
disadvantageous terms than I have done myself. 


The guest being seated, it is now the turn of 
the master of the house, and of the other guests, if 
any, to salute the new comer, if a stranger from a 
distance, by the words, " Hosk geldin, sefa geldbi ;" 
and, if a neighbour, by the words, " Sabahtiniz 
heirola" " akshcwi shifter heirola" &c. according to 
the time of the day, repeating the same actions 
already described. The guest returns each salute 
separately. There is no question of introduction 
or presentation. It would be an insult to the 
master of the house not to salute his guest. The 
master then orders the pipes, by a sign indicating 
their quality ; and coffee, by the words " Cave 
marla; n or, if for people of low degree, " Cave 
getur ;" or, if the guest is considered the host, that 
is, if he is of superior rank to the host, he orders, 
or the master asks from him permission to do so. 
The pipes have been cleared away on the entrance 
of the guest of distinction ; the attendants now re- 
appear with pipes, as many servants as guests, and, 
after collecting in the lower part of the room, they 
step up together, or nearly so, on the floor, in the 
centre of the triclinium, and then radiate off to the 
different guests, measuring their steps, so as to 
arrive at once, or with a graduated interval. The 
pipe, which is from five to seven feet in length, is 
carried in the right hand, poised upon the middle 
finger, with the bowl forward, and the mouthpiece 
towards the servant's breast, or over his shoulder. 
He measures, with his eye, a distance from the 


mouth of the guest to a spot on the floor, cor- 
responding with the length of the pipe he carries. 
As he approaches, he halts, places the bowl of the 
pipe upon this spot, then, whirling the stick grace- 
fully round, while he makes a stride forward with 
one foot, presents the amber and jewelled mouth- 
piece within an inch or two of the guest's mouth. 
He then drops on his knee, and, raising the bowl 
of the pipe from the ground, places under it 
a shining brass platter (tepsi), which he has drawn 
from his breast. 

Next comes coffee. If the word has been 
" Cave smarla" the Cafiji presents himself at the 
bottom of the room, on the edge of the raised 
floor, supporting on the palms of both hands, at 
the height of his breast, a small tray, containing 
the little coffee-pots and cups, entirely concealed 
with rich brocade. The attendants immediately 
cluster round him, the brocade covering is raised 
from the tray, and thrown over the Cafiji's head 
and shoulders. When each attendant has got his 
cup ready, they turn round at once and proceed in 
the direction of the different guests, measuring 
their steps as before. The small cups (flinjan) are 
placed in silver holders (zarf), of the same form as 
the cup, but spreading a little at the bottom : these 
are of open silver work, or of filigree ; they are 
sometimes gold and jewelled, and sometimes of fine 
china. This the attendant holds between the point 
of the finger and thumb, carrying it before him, 


with the arm slightly bent. When he has approached 
close to the guest, he halts for a second, and, stretch- 
ing downwards his arm, brings the cup, with a sort 
of easy swing, to the vicinity of the receiver's mouth ; 
who, from the way in which the attendant holds it, 
can take the tiny offering without risk of spilling 
the contents, or of touching the attendant's hand. 
Crank and rickety as these coffee-cups seem to be, 
I have never, during nine years, seen a cup of coffee 
spilt in a Turkish house ; and, with such soft and 
eel-like movements do the attendants glide about, 
that, though long pipes, and the winding snakes of 
narguilles, cover the floor when coffee is presented 
by the numerous attendants, you never see an ac- 
cident of any kind, a pipe stepped on, or a narguille 
swept over by their flowing robes, though the diffi- 
culty of picking their steps is still further increased 
by the habit of retiring backwards, and of present- 
ing, in as far as it is possible, whether in servants 
or in guests, the face to the person served or 

When coffee has been presented, the servants 
retire to the bottom of the room, where they stand 
with their hands crossed, each watching the cup he 
has presented, and has to carry away.* But, not 

* Nothing is more offensive to Easterns than a tray; — a 

tray extinguishes the whole dignity of an establishment. Once, 

while stopping on a journey at the house of a European, my 

attendants (Turks) entered the room, in the ordinary manner, 

VOL. I. C C 


to interfere with the guest's fingers, he has now to 
make use of another manoeuvre to get possession 
of it. The guest holds out the cup by the silver 
zarf, the attendant opening one hand places it 
under, then brings the palm of the other upon the 
top of the cup; the guest relinquishes his hold, 
and the attendant retires backward with the cup 
thus secured. 

After finishing his cup of coffee, each guest 
makes his acknowledgment to the master of the 
house, by the salutation above described, called 
temena, which is in like manner returned ; and the 
master of the house, or he who is in his place, may 
make the same acknowledgment to any guest 
whom he is inclined particularly to honour. But, 
in this most important portion of Turkish ceremo- 
nial, the combinations are far too numerous to 
be detailed. 

When the guest retires, it is always after 
asking leave to go. From a similar custom has 
probably remained our expression " taking leave" 
and the French " prendre conge" To this question 
the master of the house replies, " Douvlet icbal- 
ileh," or " saadet ileh," or " saghlige ileh," according 

to present the pipes and coffee. A Greek servant of the house 
brought the cups on a tray, and walked up with his tray to the 
guests, who were Turks. In an instant my servants turned on 
their heels, and quitted the apartment. Had I enforced attend- 
ance it would have been in violation of their self-esteem, and 
I should have been despised, and powerless. 


to the rank of his guest, which expressions mean 
" with the fortune of a prince," " with prosperity," 
" with health." He then gets up, and proceeds 
before his guest to the point to which he thinks fit 
to conduct him. He there stops short ; the retiring 
guest comes up, says, " Allah ismailaduk," to which 
the host replies, " Allah manet ola," going through 
the same ceremonies as before ; but, on both sides, 
the utmost expedition is used to prevent embarrass- 
ment, and not to keep each other on their legs.* 

But in this ceremonial there is nothing either 
lengthy or abrupt. It is gone through sedately but 
rapidly, and so unobtrusively, that you have to 
pay considerable attention to observe what is going 
on ; yet the effect of the whole is impressive ; and 
no stranger but must be struck with the air of dig- 
nity in repose, and calmness in action ; hence 
the Eastern proverb — Guzelic CherMstan ; Mahl 

* The Greeks make use of two modes of taking leave : one 
derived from the Turks, the other from the Italians. The 
phrase used in the former mode is, »« fiov ^ecrtrx ri» «S<«» — 
" Will you give me leave." It is common among the Eastern 
portion of the Greeks, and in the interior. The other is, »« o-«s 
<rt,x.a>eo) to /3^a; — " To relieve you from the weight ;" — from 
the Italian, " levo 1' incommodo." This is more used among 
the vulgarised Greeks of the West, and probably is by this 
time common to free Greece. This expression (levo 1' incom- 
modo), indicating ideas of intercourse and hospitality so hostile 
to those of the East, seems to me a traditionary record of that 
great people, among whom the words " stranger" and " enemy" 
were almost synonymous. 

c c 2 


Hindostan ; AMI Frangistan ; Sultanatlic All 
Osman : — " For beauty, Circassia ; for wealth, 
Hindostan ; for science, Europe : — but, for ma- 
jesty, Ali Osman." (The Ottoman Empire.) 

In a Turkish symposium, instead of being 
under the necessity of talking for the amusement 
of others, it is considered decorous to keep silence 
before those who are to be treated with deference 
and respect ; and, consequently, before a man of 
superior rank, if the guests have any thing private 
to communicate one to the other, it is done in a 
whisper ; when you wish to communicate any 
thing to a servant or an inferior, you call him close 
to you, instead of giving the order aloud. 

The services that are mutually rendered to 
each other, by people who sit in the same room, 
or eat at the same table, are such as in Europe 
would, if people understood or required them, be 
rendered only by menials ; they are rendered, how- 
ever, without affectation, and without any idea of 
degradation ; and, in the midst of this constant 
demonstration of respect, and notwithstanding the 
immense interval that seems placed between rank 
and rank, and between the highest and the lowest, 
there is no impress of servility in the air, forms of 
speech, or the tones of the humblest attendant, 
who is never spoken to with haughtiness. A 
master, in addressing his servant, will say, " Effen- 
dum," without thinking such an expression a con- 
descension, and will use epithets of endearment, 


which will be received in kindness, but without 
presumption. For instance : " My lamb," " my 
soul," " my child." — " Kuzum," " Dganum," 
" Ogloum." 

While the household thus receives value and 
importance from the establishment of social inter- 
course between master and servants, the character 
of menial and mercenary service is effaced ; and the 
children, the relatives in their various degrees, the 
dependants, are assimilated to the household. It is 
not by the degradation of these to the rank of me- 
nials, but by the elevation of servants above the cha- 
racter of mercenaries, that sympathies are deve- 
loped, affections strongly knit ; and here may be 
understood the expression, " the service of love 
knows no degradation." This domestic character I 
cannot omit, in attempting to sketch the aspect of 
society ; for, unless the reader understands how 
class becomes linked with class — how respect can 
coincide with dependence — and affection with a 
menial station, it would be impossible for him to 
comprehend the decorum reigning in an apartment 
where one side is almost constantly occupied by 
men of the humble, or even the very lowest ranks of 
society. From these combinations and habits spring 
that constant watchfulness — that "eye service,"* 

* This Scriptural expression does not mean as we interpret 
the phrase : " Doing before people's faces what you would not 
do behind their backs." It conveys, in two happy words, the 
peculiarly Eastern causes of man's besetting sin — pride. 


— which gives to every Eastern establishment the 
air of a court. 

From a Turkish reunion, however, neither 
vivacity nor merriment are banished ; but there 
never enters familiarity, gesticulation, nor vocife- 
ration. Familiarity is excluded by the all-powerful 
control of early habit and education ; gesticulation 
and vociferation are equally so excluded, but they 
are also rendered superfluous by the power and 
richness of their language. 

I have been often struck with the facility which, 
as compared with other Europeans, an Englishman 
possesses of making his way amongst the Turks, 
and am inclined to attribute it to the manner of 
conversation, which perhaps flows from common 
qualities in the English and Turkish languages ; 
while a Frenchman, whose character of mind must 
be, to the eye of an Eastern, closely allied to that 
of the Englishman, seems at once marked as one 
with whom no sympathies can exist. The nerve- 
lessness of the French language has, I conceive, 
given to those who speak it, a loudness of tone, 
and extravagance of gesture, which are intolerable 
to the sensitive nerves and the high breeding of an 
Eastern gentleman. 

I shall endeavour, by an example, to render 
intelligible my meaning as to the effect of language 
on manner. A Frenchman says, " J'aime." It is 
replied to him, " You do not." The French lan- 
guage not affording vocabular means of strength- 


ening the assertion, he can only reiterate, " J'aime!" 
but he does so in a louder tone — he calls to his 
aid the muscles of his arms, as well as those of his 
throat, from the deficiency of his language to con- 
vey the depth of his convictions. So simple a 
cause, acting through centuries, must increase 
acuteness of tones, engender habits of gesticula- 
tion, and swell the importance of expression at the 
expense of judgment. 

The Englishman says, " I love." The proposi- 
tion is denied. He retorts with lowered tone, and 
with perfect calmness, " I do love." His language 
affording him the means of strengthening his asser- 
tion without the assistance of intonation or of 
action, it is by the suppression of display that he 
can best reach the conviction of others. 

This power is possessed by the Turkish lan- 
guage in a still higher degree than by the English. 
The Turk can say, " I do love," but he can say it 
in a single word. He has also an equal facility of 
negation as of assertion, and can combine both 
ideas with every mood and tense of the verb ; add 
to this the extraordinary euphony of his lan- 
guage, and some idea may be formed of the share 
belonging to modulation in the discipline of social 

I have thus endeavoured to place before the 
reader the society to which I am about to introduce 
the Western stranger. I have described the 


theatre, the machinery, and the expectations of 
the audience ; now, for the hero. 

The European arrives, probably on foot, at- 
tended by an interpreter ; he has nothing about 
him of the state and style which commands re- 
spect ; he meets with none, he expects none ; his 
approach is perfectly unheeded. He ascends the 
staircase in his tight and meagre costume — the 
costume of the despised class of the country. Some 
of the attendants, in reply to his inquiries, point to 
the door of the Selamlik. A shuffling is then 
heard by those seated within ; the Frank is getting 
off his boots and putting on his slippers, or drawing 
slippers on above his boots ; when he gets up with 
a reddened face, and escapes from the door-curtain, 
which has fallen on his head and shoulders, he 
comes tripping into the room in his inconvenient 
chaussure, and is certain to stumble, if not before, 
on the step at the bottom of the room. 

Ushered in thus to the party, he looks with a 
startled air all round, to find out which is the 
master of the house ; he does not know what salu- 
tation to make, he does not know where to make 
it; he does not know whether he ought to be 
saluted by the host first ; and his bewilderment is 
completed by the motionless composure of every 
thing around him. He then retreats abashed to 
the lower part of the room, or, in modest igno- 
rance, not wishing to put himself forward, retires 


to the corner which has been left vacant by the 
mutual deference of two grandees. He then 
either perches himself, like an Egyptian statue, on 
the very edge of the sofa, or throws himself lolling 
backwards, with his legs spread out ; an attitude 
scarcely less indecorous than elevating the legs on 
the table would be in England. These are in- 
cidents which may deprive a stranger of con- 
sideration, though they do not render him dis- 
agreeable or offensive; but, unfortunately, too 
often our countrymen make a display of awkward- 
ness and presumption, by no means calculated 
either to smooth the way for themselves, or to 
leave the door of friendship open to future travel- 
lers. Nothing is more common than treading 
upon bowls of pipes; knocking over the coal or 
the ashes on an embroidered carpet, or upsetting 
a narguille ; scattering the fire about, while it rolls 
over pouring the water on the floor : and many a 
stranger, who considers himself degraded by put- 
ting on slippers, will walk in with an assuming and 
stately air with his boots on ; which is revolting 
alike to every feeling of cleanliness, and every 
principle of decorum. * 

No sooner is the Frank seated, than his health 

* We have recently in India enacted some regulation to 
make the natives wear their shoes in the courts of justice. The 
possession of an immense country by a handful of foreigners 
who, I will not say have not the habit of respecting, but who 
have not the faculty of understanding Custom, is a phenomenon 


is inquired after by the master of the house, and 
by those present. Observing that the first is 
speaking to him, he turns an inquiring look upon 
his interpreter, to ascertain what the nature of the 
communication may be, while at the same moment 
the interpreter is endeavouring to call his atten- 
tion to the salutations from the guests, all round 
the room : this completely puzzles him ; he twists 
and turns backwards and forwards, looking one of 
the most ridiculous figures it is possible to con- 
ceive. My own gravity has repeatedly sunk 
under such a trial ; but I never saw a Turk betray 
the slightest symptom of surprise or merriment, 
which could be construed into a breach of polite- 
ness, or become a source of embarrassment to the 
stranger. This is no sooner over than the Frank 
(for he cannot sit silent) begins putting questions, 
which are rendered more or less faithfully, but, 
generally, less than more so ; and, if he is very 
talkative or inquisitive, the interpreter takes leave 
to introduce matter or to omit, or gives a signifi- 
cant wink to the master of the house. 

But when there are several Europeans together, 
then does the effect become truly lamentable. The 
slips of awkwardness, and the chances of mistake, 
though multiplied, are nothing compared, as their 

only to be explained by the character for power which England 
owed to her former European station. Yet, what might England 
not be in Asia, and therefore in Europe, did she possess a slight, 
insight into Eastern institutions and character ? 


Eastern observers would conclude, to the rudeness 
of their mutual intercourse, the harshness of tones, 
loudness of voice, and shortness of manner, in 
addressing each other, and the differences of 
opinion that are constantly arising. The dis- 
tracted Dragoman, overwhelmed by the multi- 
plicity of questions directed by the European party 
to him, can only shrug his shoulders, and say to 
the Turks, " They are mad ; " while he calms the 
restlessness of his employers, by saying, " They 
won't answer you ; " or, " they are fools ; " or, 
" they don't understand." The effect produced 
on an Eastern, by such exhibitions, is humiliating 
in the extreme; but it can only be estimated by 
one who has sate looking on as a spectator, know- 
ing the feelings of both parties. If this were a 
position of necessity, we might submit to it with 
patience, but what aggravates the case is, that any 
traveller who chooses, for a couple of days, to 
attend to customs, will find his position wholly 

The Dragoman of Mahmoud Hamdi, Pasha of 
Larissa, spoke both English and French. An 
English man-of-war touched at Volo, and two 
officers were sent with a message to the Pasha : 
a lieutenant, I believe, and a midshipman. The 
Pasha directed the interpreter not to know Eng- 
lish : one of the officers fortunately knew a few 
words of French, and their observations were con- 
veyed by this circuitous route to the Pasha. This 


difficulty of communication they made up for with 
quaint observations, in their native tongue, on every 
thing they heard and saw. They evinced the 
greatest anxiety to see the Pasha's pipes arrive. 
The Pasha, on understanding this, ordered two of 
the richest and longest to be brought; their ad- 
miration knew no bounds; the dimensions were 
calculated, and the value estimated ; and the envy 
of the gun-room and the cockpit anticipated, if the 
precious objects could be carried off. This, of 
course, was faithfully reported to the Pasha, with 
other discourse, in that schoolboy style which un- 
fortunately is not confined to inmates of the cock- 
pit, but is become the general characteristic of 
Englishmen in other lands. 

The Pasha thus gave himself the gratification 
which an English spinster might have had in 
sending to a circulating library for a volume of 
Travels in Turkey ; drew equally profound con- 
clusions respecting the English character, and by 
the same process of reasoning which has esta- 
blished our opinions regarding his country, Mah- 
moud Pasha, arrived at an equally just conclusion 
respecting the piratical disposition of the English 
navy. This story was told me by the Pasha 
himself, who, of course, only had the Dragoman's 
report; I, therefore, by no means undertake to 
vouch for its accuracy. 

I do not venture on the description of the 
blunders of a dinner-scene : the touching of viands 


with the left hand; the desperate and often un- 
availing efforts to obtain food; the repugnance 
excited by the mode of eating ; the mess made on 
the table, and clothes of the unfortunate patient 
himself; the destruction of embroidered napkins 
and brocade floor-cloths — might afford many lu- 
dicrous positions for the lover of the burlesque, 
and do afford solid reasons for the exclusion of 
Europeans from Turkish society. 




I now began to feel the absolute necessity of 
making myself acquainted with the Greek Ar- 
matoles, scattered over the mountains to the north 
of Thessaly ; and, daily, the summits of Mount 
Olympus seemed to invite me to scale their 
heights. I could not have obtained a Turkish 
guard sufficiently strong, merely because I was 
curious to see the Greek mountaineers ; and such 
a proposal to the Pasha, suspicious as the au- 
thorities naturally were of England, might have 
placed, on their part, an insuperable barrier to my 
project. However, to neglect no precaution that 
might be useful, I communicated my intentions to 
an intelligent young Greek, a native of Mount 
Olympus. After attempting to dissuade me from 
the enterprise, he drew up for me a plan of ope- 
rations. I was first to reach Alassona, there to get 
acquainted with some of the stray Armatoles, and, 
according to the companions I might find, I was 


either to direct my steps toward the mountains of the 
west, or, turning to the east, ascend Mount Olympus 
itself. Becoming warmed with his subject, his ap- 
prehensions gradually melted away, and he began 
to be ashamed of shrinking from visiting his native 
country, into which a stranger ventured alone. He 
therefore proposed himself as my guide and com- 
panion; a proposition which I declined. I had be- 
come very fond of travelling alone, which, though 
often exposing one to inconvenience and annoy- 
ance, greatly increases the chances of interest and 
instruction. In the present instance, I determined 
on starting, with my hammock strapped to the 
back of my saddle, and with no impedimenta of any 
kind, without a servant, and without even coin in 
my pocket, to set forward on my faithful mule. 
This animal I feel it a duty formally to introduce 
to the reader's attention. He had acquired a cer- 
tain degree of celebrity by extensive travel, and by 
qualities that were first appreciated on the banks 
of the Nile ; he had visited, subsequently, the 
kingdom of Minos and the mountain of Ida ; he 
had thence again crossed the seas, landed on the 
Morea, supported Ibrahim Pasha under many 
of his difficulties in Greece, and, transferred to my 
service from that of the Egyptian satrap, he had 
visited three fourths of the ruins of the Hellenic 
race, with which he had become so familiar, that 
he came to a dead stop at every hewn stone ; and, 
finally, he had collected herbs in far greater 


numbers, and on more extensive fields, than Galen 
or Dioscorides. In consequence of these various 
pursuits and qualifications, he became known under 
different names. Some persons, devoted to archae- 
ology, called him Pausanias ; botanists termed him 
Linnaeus ; while I, dwelling more on his moral 
dispositions, called him Aristotle, because, like that 
olden worthy, he sometimes kicked his master. 
With such romantic projects in my brain, and 
mounted on a charger so distinguished, it was with 
justifiable exultation of mind, and buoyancy of 
spirits, that I issued, a few minutes before sunrise, 
on the last day of July, from the gates of Larissa. 
The plain lay before me, and Olympus soared on 
high, his triple crest illumined by the morning 
rays. Breaking away from the road or path, I put 
Aristotle to his speed, and only reined him in when 
I had put sufficient distance between me and La- 
rissa to make me feel that I had escaped and was 
alone, and till I reached a tumulus, where I 
turned to look at Larissa, and its thirty minarets, 
glittering in the sun. As I stood on the solitary 
mound, admiring the unrivalled prospect, I per- 
ceived a horseman, at full speed, making after me. 
Friend or foe, thought I, he is but one, and it will 
be safer, as well as more decorous, to meet face to 
face, and with the vantage ground on which I 
stood. The horseman came bounding along, but, 
perceiving neither lance in rest, pistol in hand, nor 
the picturesque dangling of the sabre from the 


wrist, I quietly awaited his approach ; and it was 
only when, within three yards, his horse was 
thrown at once back on his haunches, that I re- 
cognised, under a ponderous turban and a broad 
and shaggy capote, the companion whose services 
I had rejected the night before. " Ah, ha ! " said 
he, " you wished to escape from me, but I knew 
my at (steed) would beat your mule, and I thought 
when you saw me in this costume you would not 
be ashamed of my company." The poor fellow 
had imagined that I had rejected him in conse- 
quence of the Rayah costume which he wore. I 
assured him that I never thought either of his 
costume the night before, nor of escaping from him 
that morning ; but I pointed out the peril we now 
should both run in consequence of that costume ; 
that I trusted for my safety to the absence of all 
objects of attraction, as also of all means of de- 
fence, and to the influence which I had become 
accustomed to exercise, and in which I felt con- 
fident. But, in that costume, and with those arms, 
we should be shot before any questions could be 
asked or answered. I was armed only with a 
sturdy stick, which, in these countries, has the in- 
calculable advantage of not being considered a 
weapon.* I therefore told him that, if before I 

* I owe the preservation of my life, on several occasions, to 

the determination never to carry pistols. They are of no use 

against robbers ; long shots must decide the day, if resistance 

is made. In other circumstances, the difficulty of making 

VOL. I. D D 


declined his company, I now decidedly objected to 
it ; but subsequently agreed, in consequence of his 
importunity, that he should accompany me as far 
as Alassona. 

We reached the foot of Olympus, at the 
fountain-head of the spring, four or five miles 
from Tournovo, the pure and light water of which 
is supposed to contribute so much to the beauty 
of the dyes of this district. We sat down on a 
green sward, under some ever-beautiful platani, 
close to the overflowing stream. 

The marble rock behind us, which overhangs 
Tournovo, meets the gneiss and granite of Olym- 
pus, near this spot ; to the north, below their 
juncture, and in the very centre of a retiring angle 
of the chain, is the village of Mati. The con- 
tracted portion of the plain before us, in the di- 
rection of Tempe, moistened by this source, is of 
an emerald-green sward, with dark green reeds, 
brushwood, and trees, and contrasting with the 
bare rounded forms of the marble formation, and 

up your mind in decisive moments ; the loss of position, by 
drawing a weapon, of time in cocking a trigger, give incal- 
culable advantages to a stick, as compared with a pistol or 
a dagger, especially if you use the stick as a small sword. 
The rapidity of movement, the effect of what they consider 
insignificant, the reach of your lunge, while you preserve your 
equilibrium, and the faculty of disabling an enemy without the 
destruction of life, and without drawing blood, are consi- 
derations of deep moment to one who plunges into eastern 


the dingy, broken, but less naked appearance of 
schistose Olympus. This water, united with those 
of the Fountain, near Tournovo, must be the 
Titaresus of Homer, or ought to be ; for the 
winter torrent, bearing that name, shews now but a 
broad, white bed, while this crystal water fills its 
verdant banks ; and light, even now, to a proverb, 
glides along, in a full, clear stream, and, in meet- 
ing, spreads itself over the muddy Peneus. After 
an ascent of scarcely an hour, in a steep ravine, 
down which poured the legions of Pompey, pre- 
vious to the battle of Pharsalia, and after a descent 
of half the distance, the beautiful little mountain 
plain of Alassona, about ten miles in circumference, 
opened upon me. Like all the level part of Thes- 
saly, its appearance is that of a lake suddenly con- 
gealed into soil, surrounded by an irregular coast, 
rather than by a circle of hills. Through their 
openings, to the west, appeared the chain, extend- 
ing from the Pindus to Olympus. Opposite to the 
point where we entered, shone the minarets of 
Alassona, and some whitish cliffs, whence it drew 
its Homeric epithet ; and, on a rock, over it, the 
monastery. Poplars, mulberries, and vineyards, 
were scattered around. Tcerichines (from Tcerna, 
in Bulgarian, a mulberry-tree) is to the right, under 
the group of Olympus, seated on a gentle rise, with 
rocks immediately overhanging it. The spreading 
roofs, appearing above each other, and mingled 
with foliage, give the place no less an air of well- 

D D 2 


being, than an aspect of beauty. We passed 
through vineyards, choked up with weeds ; and 
through plantations of luxuriant mulberry-trees, 
which I, with difficulty, was convinced had been 
shorn of their branches only twenty days before. 

On entering the town (Tcerichines), it appeared 
to have escaped the devastation to which, of late, I 
had been accustomed ; yet nowhere have I had 
the miseries to which this country has been a prey 
presented to me in so impressive a manner. My 
companion had been brought up at the school 
here, and he had not visited it for twelve years. 
At every step he pointed out some contrast in its 
present to its past state, with all the force which 
simplicity gives to feeling. Now he recognised 
the servant of an old friend, whose entire house- 
hold had disappeared ; now, the parent, whose 
children were no more ; now he stopped at the 
spot where some happy mansion had stood ; anon, 
at the site of some desolate dwelling, where he had 
once been happy. He insisted on our going to his 
former schoolmaster. We soon found the house, 
but, strange to say, the door was gone. After 
calling for some time, an old head, with a little 
black beard, and spectacles on nose, presented it- 
self at the window. We were directed through a 
door at some distance, and found our way into the 
abode of the Aoyiorarog by a hole in his garden 
wall, a classic mode of " sporting oak." The 
schoolmaster we found seated on a carpet, at one 


end of an extensive space, that once had been 
separated into several apartments. The partition- 
walls had been knocked down ; the roof, on one 
side, was supported only on stakes ; the floor was 
partly broken up. During the last three years, it 
had been a konak for Albanians ; but, since he had 
discovered the expedient of walling up his door, 
and entering by a concealed passage, he lived un- 
molested in the midst of the ruins. He laughed 
heartily as he related his story, knowingly tapping 
his forehead with his finger, somewhat in the fa- 
vourite attitude of Swift, which, it is said, first led 
Gall to fix on the organ of wit. 

I was afterwards taken to visit one of the 
former wealthy inhabitants of the place, and, as the 
AtouGXGcXog told me, a learned man, and a philo- 
sopher. We entered a spacious court, surrounded 
by buildings of considerable extent ; we walked 
through several dilapidated passages and corridors ; 
untied the strings that fastened some doors ; but 
could find no living soul. At length, a sharp and 
cracked voice answering us, we were conducted by 
the sound to a little chamber, where, seated in a 
corner, on an old pelisse, and writing on a stool, 
we found the philosopher of whom we were in 
search. He was quite disconcerted by the unex- 
pected appearance of a European, but immediately 
assumed an air of constrained ease. I was at once 
pleased and grieved to observe the contrast this 
character displayed, with the incessant and empty 


lamentations and aspirations of the Greeks. He 
never once alluded to public complaints, or to 
private misfortunes ; and artfully manoeuvred to 
get a neighbour to make and bring in coffee as if 
served by his own people. He told me that it was 
quite intentionally that he left his court and house 
in the forlorn condition in which I saw it, that it 
might not attract the Albanians. This was the 
first time I had made acquaintance with a Greek 
who did not parade his misfortunes, his poverty 
(real or simulated) before me ; and, without being 
asked, in the first five minutes, lb ihm zappta 
xaXhoovvri, xuvsvu 'iXsog ; " Is there to be no kindness, 
no mercy for us?" " It is many years," said he, 
" since, in these parts, the children of the Hellenes 
have had to blush to be looked on by a freeman's 
eye. All that remains to us now is the cup of 
philosophy, that is, the dregs ; the rest is gone. 
Looking at me, my costume, my condition, and my 
den, you might well imagine yourself on a visit to 
Diogenes ; but there, I am sorry to say, all likeness 

Tcerichines, though presenting such a scene 
of devastation, is, perhaps, the least miserable place 
in Olympus. Corn must be sown, and vineyards 
laboured ; but the mulberry produces its leaves 
spontaneously. A little silkworm seed can easily 
be procured; and silk, being of easy transport, 
easily concealed, and of ready sale, is almost equal 
to ready money. The mulberry-trees are remark- 


able by their broad, deep green, and glossy leaves. 
They do not strip the branches of their leaves, but 
cut off the yearly shoots. They say the leaves 
are thus more abundant and succulent ; and the 
boughs, being laid on the worms, these mount 
on them ; are more easily cleaned, more healthy, 
and thrive better. After the shoots have been cut, 
others spring again, with surprising rapidity ; so 
that, a month after the operation, the tree appears 
as if it never had been injured. The shoots re- 
main till the ensuing season. 

From Tcerichines to Alassona, it is less than 
half an hour, along the base of the hills. Decom- 
posed feldspar, from the gneiss, light-coloured sand 
and clay, give the white aspect to the cliffs, which 
form the northern belt of the beautiful little plain ; 
though now these cliffs seemed almost of a darker 
hue than the withered grass ; but, before the cliffs 
had been so much obliterated, and when their hue 
contrasted with forests above and cultivation below, 
they must have appeared quite white. The Mon- 
astery of the Virgin probably occupies the site of 
the Acropolis of Oloasson. For the side posts of 
the door of the church, a slab of marble, containing 
a long inscription, in small letters, has been used. 
The inscription is illegible. A column, within, is 
entirely covered with small, well-formed letters, 
but it is so much abraded that I could not make 
out four letters together ; another column has 
borne a similar inscription, which has been care- 
fully picked out. Looking on these marbles, I 


thought of Johnson reading over the catalogue of 
Plutarch's last works, and comparing himself to 
the owner of a vessel reading the hill of lading of a 
shipwrecked cargo. But here the ruin was not the 
work of chance, but of the hands bound to defend 
and preserve. In the pavement, there is a bas 
relief of a lion fighting with a bull, in good style, 
but much worn. 

The Monastery of the Virgin Mary was one of 
the richest and most important in Thessaly or 
Greece. An act of Cantacuzene granted it most 
extensive possessions, the original of which I could 
not see. A portion of these possessions were con- 
firmed to it by firman, with immunity from head- 
money on sheep, from duty on vines. It is vakouf. 
Its charter is dated Adrianople, 825 oftheHegyra, 
the year of the capture of Constantinople, and it is 
much broken, and pasted on green silk. The 
monks told me it was granted to them by Orchan. 
I thought this so extraordinary, that I made as 
minute a copy as I could of the document, though, 
at the time, I did not know a Turkish letter. 
From this copy, I have ascertained the firman, as 
above stated, to be from Mohammed II. 

All these immunities have now been withdrawn, 
and replaced by exactions and oppressions. Long 
and sad is the story of grievances I have had to 
listen to in this as in other monasteries. 

They keep up their flocks, they told me, and 
work their fields and vineyards, at a loss, on money 
borrowed, chiefly, from Turks, who, daily expect- 


ing the present disorders to cease, reckon on a sure 
and ample harvest. I received a statement of their 
losses in exactions, for the last ten years, which 
was drawn up by the monks, assembled in com- 
mittee, and given to me, with the earnest request 
that I should send it to the Allied Powers. 

Fifteen days before, the brother of Arslan Bey 
had been shut up in the monastery by the regulars 
of Mahmoud Pasha. They pointed out to me the 
fields of strife; and exulted in the thrashing the 
Nizzam had given the Albanians ; but they gave 
due praise to either chief, for their exertions in 
preserving order, and protecting and saving both 
monastery and town. I had heard a good deal of 
their library, but was prevented from seeing it, as 
it was in a crypt, or concealed chamber, the en- 
trance to which was through a room where an 
Albanian had konak. A table, with chairs around 
it, tablecloth, plates, knives, and forks, was spread 
in the moonshine for supper, the old Abbot leading 
me to it with no little exultation. I may here, once 
for all, remark that European style, as imitated by 
an Eastern, I have always found as disagreeable 
and filthy as Eastern habits imitated by a Western. 

There was to be a panigiri, or fair, held on the 
morrow (St. Elias), at which the captains to the 
west of Olympus are accustomed to assemble and 
make merry ; but, finding it a day's journey dis- 
tant, and being much more anxious to ascend 
Olympus, I reluctantly declined the offer of one of 
the monks to accompany me thither, at least till I 


had ascertained the impracticability of ascending 
Olympus. At Tcerichines I had heard of a Captain 
Poulio, but no one could tell me more about him 
than this : that the rising and the setting sun never 
found him in the same place. However, a Palicar, 
hearing of my inquiries, came in a mysterious 
manner to hint, that, if I had any business with 
Captain Poulio, he could bring us together. 
Yielding to the shrugs and signs of my friend, the 
schoolmaster, I declined the offer. Now, finding 
I could obtain from no other quarter any intelli- 
gence of any neighbouring captain, and piqued by 
the mystery and difficulty, I determined to return, 
and to seek for the Palicar. On leaving Alassona, 
I however met him. He revealed to me the im- 
portant secret of the village where Poulio was to 
be found ; but it was forty miles off. Finding me 
little disposed to such a journey, he consoled me 
by adding, that he had been there yesterday, but 
" who knows where he is now?" Giving up, there- 
fore, every idea of riding the country after this 
Olympic Manfred, I returned to Tcerichines to 
consult with my philosophic friend and the learned 

The remainder of the day was spent in at- 
tempts at dissuasion, and then in the discussion of 
various projects ; and we finally determined on 
leaving the arrangements to the representative of 
Diogenes, who volunteered to be ready the next 
morning to accompany me to the top of Olympus, 
or to the world's end. Accordingly, next morning, 


at dawn, when I presented myself at the gate of 
the deserted mansion, the little man stood before 
me as complete a metamorphosis as human being 
ever underwent, equipped for the journey in a cos- 
tume worthy the pencil that sketched the " Mar- 
riage-a-la-mode." The tidy kalpak, yellow slipper, 
Jubbee, and Dragomanic air, were converted into 
something between the Tartar and the scarecrow. 
To begin by the foundation. On the step of his 
door stood a pair of shapeless Turkish boots, into 
which disappeared a pair of spindlelike and diverging 
calfs, bound tight round by Tartar breeches, which, 
as they rose beyond the knee, uniting, swelled into 
the shape and form of a balloon ; several jackets, 
with sleeves either hanging over the hand, or 
shortened to the fore-arm, enlarged proportionally 
the superior parts of the figure ; an old furred 
pelisse was heaped on one shoulder ; the kalpak, 
in a napkin, hung on the other side, and a tarbouch 
(wadded night-cap), which once had been red, 
was drawn over, and circumscribed the dimensions 
of a little face, the diminutive lineaments of which 
were disputed between drollery and benevolence. 
His morning and glossy countenance beamed with 
satisfaction as he surveyed his preparations, and was 
convulsed with laughter when he contemplated his 
own figure. He had picked up a singular appendage 
in the shape of a little urchin, which seemed the per- 
sonification of the proverb of an old head upon young 
shoulders:— a face of thirty, to a body of seemingly 


not nine years of age. All bones and eyes, he ap- 
peared, as his patron remarked, to have eaten wood,* 
instead of pilaf. For this reason, the philosopher 
had preferred this Flibertigibet to numerous candi- 
dates for the honour, rather than the profit, of being 
his major domo, such habits suiting equally his 
purse, and a somewhat hasty disposition. The boy 
was summoned to receive his master's final instruc- 
tions. He assumed the pose of a Palicar ; resting on 
one leg, placing one hand on his hip, and laying the 
other on the enormous key that was stuck, pistol- 
wise in his belt. His head was thrown back, while his 
master's was advanced forward, and bent over him ; 
of course, both arms stuck out behind ; while he 
rocked with the vehemence with which he uttered 
threats of &Xo ko'KKv %vko : ■' birch and much birch," 
if, during the stewardship of Spiro, any thing- went 
wrong, — both of them equally unheeding the fits 
of laughter that seized the spectators. My new 
companion's Rozinante, not the least strange portion 
of his equipment, was now brought out ; a colo- 
kythia, or dried gourd, with water, slung on one 
side, the kalpak on the other. I ventured an 
objection to this appendage, useless in the moun- 
tains ; but he said, " I know you Englishmen. We 
are now on our way to Olympus ; but, an hour 
hence, may we not be on the road to Salonica 
or Larissa ?" 

* %v\6v i<petyi. He has been beaten: literally — " he has 
eaten wood." 


Thus equipped, and these arrangements com- 
pleted, we set forward. The old man, boisterously 
happy at visiting Olympus again, and with the 
enthusiasm of a schoolboy, and the fervor of a hero 
of July (this was in July 1830), quoting Homer, 
and singing revolutionary Greek songs. Notwith- 
standing his grotesque appearance, he was every 
where treated with the utmost respect ; and the 
abuse he was in the constant habit of pouring on 
the Greeks ; and the epithets, " soulless," " spirit- 
less," thick-headed," " bastards of their forefathers, 
and unworthy of their country and name," in which 
he delighted to indulge, were received in silence. 
At the time, I was astonished at this ; but I have 
since discovered that you stand all the better with 
a people for abusing them, if not from malevolence. 
One slight deviation from custom or etiquette will 
injure a stranger more than the expression of any 
opinions, however outrageous ; or the breach of 
any duty, however sacred. 

Before leaving Tcerichines, I must not omit to 
mention two curious incidents which there occurred 
to me. The one was a visit from a deputation sent 
from two or three of the provinces, excluded by 
the Protocol from the Greek state — Carpenizi and 
Agrafa, I believe — to make their submission to the 
Grand Vizier. These districts acquiesced in and 
even anticipated that decision, and I was at the 
time shocked with their apparent want of nation- 
ality. I asked the deputies if they did not intend 


to take advantage of this conjuncture for securing 
their rights and privileges. That, they answered, 
was their object ; but, as to the mode, they were 
not agreed amongst themselves; they had, therefore, 
sent two Primates and two Captains, who should 
act according to circumstances, after they saw the 
state of affairs at Monaster, and when they knew, 
on the one hand, the disposition of the Grand 
Vizier ; and on the other, the opinions of the other 
Greeks in the higher part of Roumeli. Thus the 
Captains were of one opinion, and the Primates of 
another ; and the community had recourse to the 
expedient of having the two opinions represented 
in the same deputation. Yet, how much more 
sensible it is to send the representatives of the 
opposite opinions together, than to send, as great 
nations do, first a representative of the one, and 
then a representative of the other. I could not 
help thinking of the old story, though perhaps not 
out of date, of the English courier carrying orders 
in one bag, and counter-orders in the other. The 
Janus-faced deputation applied to me for a specific 
by which their two faces should be turned one 
way, and the two mouth-pieces converted into one ; 
and, like many other practitioners, I ventured on, 
and boldly announced, a recipe in which I had no 
faith at the time myself; and, strange to say, the 
desired effect was produced. " Fix," I said, " your 
contributions at one sum ; secure the privilege of 
sending one of the Primates with it to Constau- 


tinople. The Captains will then retain the autho- 
rity they have had without meddling with the 
Paras." The Grand Vizier subsequently entered 
into this view ; and admitted, when I saw him 
eighteen months afterwards, at Scodra, that such a 
system, if generally adopted, would entirely change 
the face of Turkey. 

The other incident was an inquiry from the 
Didaskalos, and from my travelling companion 
(whom I will term Diogenes, to keep Aristotle 
company), about Colonel Leake ; how he was con- 
sidered in England? what I thought of him my- 
self? I told them that Colonel Leake was not 
only well known, but looked up to as the chief, if 
not the only, authority respecting their country; 
and that the only work in English, on the Greek 
Revolution, which would survive the present time, 
was a small essay of his. I had given way to an 
emotion of pride in hearing the name of a country- 
man mentioned, and such minute inquiries after 
him made in this sequestered hamlet ; but I soon 
discovered that my new friends and I differed in 
some respect in our opinion. So I inquired how, 
when, and where they had known Colonel Leake ? 
when the following facts came out: — In some 
year which I have forgotten, Colonel Leake ar- 
rived at Tcerichines with a Buyourdi and a Cavash 
from Ali Pasha. My friend, Diogenes, was then 
Codga Bashi, or Primate ; and, as he came to this 


portion of his narration, he paused, stretched up 
his turtlelike neck, shook his head, looked me full 
in the face, and exclaimed, " Who was Ali Pasha 
to me ? What was Ali Pasha's Buyourdi to me 1 
What authority had a Tartar Cavash within the 
holy precincts of Olympus ?" Then resuming, he 
exposed how he had been delighted warmly to 
welcome, and kindly to receive, an Englishman 
and a scholar. But that Cplonel Leake, attributing 
all their kindness and attention to the orders of the 
Pasha, had contented himself with putting some 
questions to them, but had never asked after the 
health of one of them.* Diogenes, highly incensed 
at not having his health inquired after, had spurred 
off into the vale of Tempe ; whether Colonel 
Leake was proceeding (probably upon the same 
Rozinante upon which he now accompanied me, as 
the event occurred not more than fifteen years be- 

* But for this incident I might not have comprehended the 
value of the instructions given by the Czar of Russia to the 
first ambassador sent to Soliman the Great, " not to inquire 
after the health of the Sultan, till the Sultan had inquired after 
the health of the Czar." All Eastern diplomacy and history is 
full of incidents bearing upon this point. I need only refer to 
the recent and interesting details of Burnes's Travels. Every 
thing is ridiculous that men are not accustomed to ; rendering 
naked a portion of our body, appears to the Easterns a very 
ridiculous mode of salutation ; and yet, taking off the hat on 
entering a room, in Europe, is almost as essential as inquiries 
and salutations in the East. 


fore), and suspended in the vale of the Muses the 
following indignant apostrophe, addressed by in- 
sulted Hellas to the " hyperborean" intruder. 

E<? to» ■xi£tnyr l Ttii I#«»»>]s A»i*, tTiy^xfi Us rec Tiuirt} x-xo t«»«? 
TgxiKovs t«j T<rxgiT?xtn$, ov<rxgisrn6/ix.MTx$ uiro t«» vxiP<pxiiixi tow. 

H *EAA«j BtmO&yM 

YLxi Treit (All Avx%xp<rns iTr^XSii <go» s/j oi>dx$ 

~'Ef>%orrxi text tin x>ogi$ wrigfitguoi 
'AAA' o ftii ierogay ratoi x^xtiovrt wisdom*. 

Z«o»* A4X Xoidgns xrt.o, (pup ifii, <ra» t« 3 sxej. 

I insert this effusion as a singular instance of 
that sensitiveness, which a man may travel for 
years in the East without becoming even conscious 
of, and therefore remain in equal ignorance of the 
causes of what he sees, of the things he sees, of 
the effect he produces, and of the effects he might 
produce. This incident I have felt to be an in- 
valuable lesson, if it were only from their mis- 
judgment of a man so remarkable for a character 
the very reverse of their estimate. f 

From Tcherichines to the monastery of Spermos, 
where we were to pass the night, is only a distance 
of five hours, by the straight road, but we chose a 

* This is meant for John : the generic designation of all 
Englishmen in all foreign lands. 

f I once inquired from a gentleman who has, more tho- 
roughly than any other European, made himself master of 
Eastern manners and customs, how it was that Burkhardt, 
VOL. I. E E 


circuitous path to pay a visit to one of the Cap- 
tains, whom we had not the privilege of seeing, 
though we found his place warm. This entailed 
on us fourteen hours of a fatiguing journey. 
On leaving Tcherichines, we immediately com- 
menced the ascent of the mountain. On reaching 
the summit of the chain of hills that encircles Alas- 
sona, we turned round to look on the spreading 
roots of Olympus ; which, seen from below, are 
rugged and broken mountains, but which appeared, 
from the spot where we stood, like a sanely plain 
cut out by deep watercourses, the abrupt sides 
darkened by immemorial forests of pine and oak. 
The effect was that of a calcareous slab covered 
with dendrites. 

The central mountain, or rather group, of 
Olympus, stands alone wholly disconnected from 
the masses, which appear, when looked at from the 
plain, to be continuous and connected elevations. 
When you have climbed and passed over the 
broken strata, which ascend fully two-thirds the 
height of the mountain, you come suddenly upon 
a deep ravine or valley, into which you have to 
descend, and beyond which the central group, 
distinct and alone, rises like a fortress from its 

with all his knowledge of facts, had appreciated so little the 
mind of the people. The reply was, " Because he constantly 
put himself in a false and uncomfortable position — he had an 
unfortunate practice — he used to whittle .'" 


The sun was setting behind us as we readied 
the point where the mountain broke upon us in 
its solitude and grandeur. The snow, sprinkled 
over the summit, was tinged of a red hue by the 
effect of the setting sun, which, at this season of 
the year, gave the declining rays the appearance of 
a shower of brick-dust and of gold.* The lower 
portion of the group was covered with dark forests, 
and amongst them, just where the mountain rises 
from the plain or valley, appeared the white walls 
of the monastery of Spermos — a not unwelcome 

Having got sight of our destination . for the 
night, I pushed on alone, according to my prac- 
tice ; and, thinking myself safer a-head than in 
company with some wild acquaintance which the 
philosopher had picked up, I succeeded in reach- 
ing it about a couple of hours after sunset. I 
knocked, but it was long before I could get any 
notice taken of me. At length the monks came 
out to reconnoitre on a little balcony, constructed 
for that purpose, when I was subjected to a most 
minute interrogatory ; and it was by appealing to 
their charity and humanity, not only as a way- 
worn traveller, but as one who had just escaped 
the most imminent dangers, that, seeing I was 

* I once observed the same effect in Italy, over the plain of 
Thrasimene, and looking from the natal city of Fra Bartalomeo, 
who, in more than one painting, has attempted the same 

E E 2 


quite alone, I succeeded in obtaining admission. 
The heavy bar was removed, and the rusty hinges 
set a-creaking ; and, no sooner had they barred 
the door again, than, putting in practice the lesson 
I had so lately learned, I politely inquired after all 
their healths. 

I was no sooner seated by a blazing fire, than 
inquiries were made, as they took me for some 
government officer, after servants, baggage, guards, 
and such like things. I replied, that two hours 
before, while journeying in company with their 
much-esteemed compatriot of Tcherichines, we had 
been overtaken by some savage Klephts ; but that, 
being better mounted, I had made my escape ; 
that they had now got with them my travelling 
companion ; and I had little doubt they would 
make use of him to gain admission to the monas- 
tery. Now this was exactly the case, only that 
the bandits had offered themselves for guards. 
This intelligence produced a great fermentation 
amongst the monks. Four old muskets were 
brought from a cellar, new primed, and placed 
close to the opening of the balcony. We were, 
consequently, all upon the alert when the troop 
came up. Seeing lights at the opening of the 
building, and half-a-dozen heads peeping out, Dio- 
genes rode up to the door, expecting to find all 
the inmates awaiting his arrival, to greet and 
welcome him. Finding the door closed, he came 
under the balcony, where we were all watching. 


" Eh !" exclaimed he, " Christiani, Caloyeri, Gou- 
meni ! are you afraid of robbers ?" • Kalos 
orisate — kalos orisate !" replied the Goumenos, 
w you are welcome ! you are welcome ! But who 
are those men standing in the shade?" "Oh!" 
said Diogenes, " they are only two or three 
Palicari that came with us from Micuni." " If 
that is the case/' said the Abbot, u they must 
have friends in the neighbourhood, and you had 
better sup with them." Diogenes, now completely 
perplexed, began to forget himself, and think of 
me, so he inquired hastily if they had not seen 
and taken in an Englishman. " Panagia," said I, 
" the poor man has gone mad." " An English- 
man ! " vociferated the monks ; " who ever heard 
of such a thing?" The little man now danced 
with rage. " Open the door, you cowled asses ! 
black-faced, ill-fated ! An Englishman has been 
lost or murdered ; and you will have, all of you, 
your skins flayed off; you will have a dozen of 
Cavashes upon you, and a three-decker from the 
King of England ! " The monks now began to 
doubt whether Diogenes had lost his wits ; or 
whether there might be some truth in what he 
said : but, having the advantage of position, and 
much greater practice in speech than in humility, 
they ended by getting incensed at his redundancy, 
and broke into a most vociferous rage ; to which 
responded, loud and sharp, from below, the quick 


iambics of Diogenes, supported by the graver 
metres of the no less animated Palicars. When I 
could muster sufficient gravity, I took the Gou- 
menos aside, told him the real state of the case, 
with the exception of my being the Englishman 
lost or murdered, — that I had a little revenge to 
take upon Diogenes, — that I was quite satisfied, — 
and they had now better let him in. The alarms 
of the monks had, in reality, been excited ; so that 
they thankfully received this intelligence, and ran 
to admit and pacify the philosopher. Seating 
myself composedly at the fire, I presently heard 
his shrill tones in the court, as he ascended the 
creaking staircase, becoming clearer and louder, 
but never ceasing. He continued vociferating, as 
he entered the room, " An Englishman is lost — 
an Englishman is murdered ! " until he reached 
the middle of the floor, when, his eyes falling upon 
me, he came to a dead pause, and a stand still : 
his under-jaw and his arms dropped. I civilly in- 
quired after his health, and bade him welcome to 

Now burst forth the astonishment of the 
monks. " An Englishman, a Frank ! " and they 
flocked round me with staring eyes. Not one of 
them had ever seen a European * before, and they 

* It is superfluous to observe, that they were themselves all 
Europeans. The word is, however, used generally, throughout 
the East, rather in a social than a geographical sense. 


seemed to look at me as if I had been a specimen 
of the three-decker of the King of England, with 
which they had been so lately threatened. 

The distance from here to the summit is about 
twenty miles. Notwithstanding the almost unin- 
terrupted exertion of the two former days, I re- 
solved on scaling its heights in the splendid 
moonlight, to reach its summit by the dawn, 
stay there the whole day, and return during the 
next night ; my object being to see both effects of 
sunrise and sunset, without passing the night on 
the top. The proposition, of course, created an out- 
cry, but I was so accustomed to being told that 
this or that was impossible or impracticable, that 
I had become expert in the various methods of 
shutting objectors' mouths. Diogenes was exces- 
sively alarmed, and, I think, not a little provoked, 
for he had made up his mind, if not to ascend, at 
least to attempt to ascend the mountain, and his 
old bones seemed not likely to recover, for a week 
to come, from this day's exertion. Supper was 
hastily ordered ; a couple of shepherds were sent 
for ; a long staff, with an iron point, was given me ; 
•a small leathern bottle, slung over my shoulder, 
was filled with rakki, and my telescope hung 
to balance it. Thus equipped, I sat down to 
snatch a hurried meal. Fresh curds, roast lamb, 
ravanee, were successively pressed upon me, with 
a sedulousness which, being unusual in these lands, 
I could not, for fear of appearing to be offended 


with it,* altogether resist. I was pledged by 
Diogenes, by the Abbot, and by others of the 
cowled community; and, when the little round 
table was expeditiously removed, I could not re- 
fuse the necessary finale, coffee and a pipe. The 
wine, however, seemed, unaccountably, to have 
gone to my head, which nodded, as I thought, 
for a single moment ; my pipe had gone out, and 
I started up to ask for a light, and found myself 
stretched on the sofa alone, and the gray morning 
shining in at the window ! I should be ashamed 
to tell the rage I was in, and it was infinitely in- 
creased by the hilarity which the expression of it 
produced ; and it was only afterwards, on the very 
summit of Olympus, that, on recalling the arch 
look with which Diogenes came in, in the morning, 
to return my inquiries of the night before, that I 
called to mind that, while all the other guests 
drank a la ronde from a silver bowl, a distinct 
tumbler had each time been presented to me. 
The fact is, they thought the only way to save me 
from getting my neck broken amongst the rocks, 
while, at the same time, both parties squared 
accounts with me, was to put just "mia dactylitra"« 

* A Turk of the highest rank will go into the kitchen to see 
a dish prepared for a guest, but he will never say he has done 
so, and never press you when it is on the table ; but, if pressing 
were the fashion, it would be a social result for the host to press 
if his guest were of higher rank: it would not then be considered 
an act of kindness, but unheard-of presumption. 


(a thimble-full) of poppy juice in the bottom of my 
glass, trusting for the rest to fafigue, a good supper, 
and a blazing fire, a very necessary part of the 
household furniture, even in the month of July, at 
the Monastery of Spermos. 

My companion now finally gave up all idea of 
prosecuting the adventure further ; so, leaving him 
in the hands of the hospitable monks, where he 
promised me to keep himself warm, and every 
body else merry, till I returned, I started, on foot, 
with my guides, soon after the sun was up. The 
flocks of the monastery were on our way, at the 
distance of ten miles ; there we were to breakfast, 
and there were we to pass the night, after ascend- 
ing to the summit. They calculated seven hours 
from the monastery to the summit. The sheep- 
fold was half way ; so that, independent of the 
asoent, we had thirty miles before us. It was a 
long time since I had undertaken such a pedestrian 
expedition, but I have always found that there is 
no way to succeed, like putting oneself under the 
necessity of action. 

As we descended, the mist, which either covered 
us or hung over the mountain, entirely shut out 
the view until we reached the limits of the forest, 
where we expected to find the flocks, shepherds, 
and our breakfast. Here we emerged from the 
mist, and seemed to be in the first story of the 
heavens. Clouds covered the lower portion of the 
mountain ; detached clouds were scattered to the 


eastward, below the level at which we stood, and, 
through them, from the seat of Jove, we looked 
down on the 

" Mare velivolum, terrasque jacentes." 

We were on the bold face of the mountain, 
looking towards the sea ; and I might have doubted 
the reality of its hazy waters, but for the white 
specks dotted along the frequented course between 
Salonica and the southern headland of Thessaly. 
Beyond, and far away to the east, might be guessed 
or distinguished the peak of Mount Athos, and the 
distincter lines, between, of the peninsulas Palene 
and Sithonia. This glimpse of Mount Athos, at a 
distance of ninety miles, made me resolve on visit- 
ing its shrine and ascending its peak. I was struck 
to find, far above the monastery, plum-trees, loaded 
with fruit, which looked like wax ; they were of 
all colours ; yellow, pink, and red, predominating. 
Every where there was abundance of boxwood, of 
colossal dimensions, which extended higher up than 
even the pines. But the magnificent prospect 
which displayed itself to my eyes on emerging from 
the cloud, shewed nowhere, in our vicinity, the 
shepherd encampment. We found the place where 
they had been the night before, by the smoke 
which ascended from the yet burning fire. My 
guides now insisted on returning, and it was with 
great difficulty that I succeeded in getting them to 
go on ; and one of them, pretending to go in 


another direction to look for the encampment, re- 
turned no more. In half an hour we perceived 
the flocks, but it was only after two hours of toil- 
some march that we reached the fold. 

The shepherds had been watching us as we 
approached, and, having distinguished my un- 
wonted costume, where dark clothes had probably 
never appeared within the range of their memory, 
they fancied I was a government officer in pursuit 
of some fugitive, they consequently took to their 
heels, in every direction, driving their sheep before 
them, but, having got within hail of one of them, 
we soon came to an understanding, and, by the 
time I reached the fold, which was a permanent 
structure of stones, like a tambour, circular, and 
about the height of a man, to keep off the blast, 
we saw them returning, followed by their sheep 
and dogs. The dogs of the first we met exhibited 
a marked spirit of hostility, and most ferocious- 
looking animals they were. The menace of a stick 
and a few stones had sufficed to impose some 
degree of respect upon them ; but the barking 
soon collected, from far and near, the whole canine 
portion of the establishment. Finding their num- 
bers strengthened, they now meditated a regular 
declaration of war. I was unconscious of my 
danger, but the shepherds hurried me into the 
fold, made me lie down, and threw their capotes 
over me, and then hastened to defend the wall. 
One or two desultory charges were repulsed, when 


the dogs, with combined forces, amounting to 
about twenty, made one furious assault, and two 
or three of them cleared the wall, when, had I not 
been covered up with the cloaks, and on the 
ground, I should have suffered ; but other shep- 
herds coming up, they were beaten off, with great 
damage, three or four limping away in a bad 
plight, and repeating their complaints to the echoes 
of Olympus. After the siege was raised, and treaty 
entered into, the dogs got their dinner, and we our 
breakfast. We received each of us a loaf of black 
bread, weighing an oke ; the dogs getting each, in 
addition to their commons, a lump of snow, and 
we a drink of milk. I now bethought me of the 
bottle of rakki, and, pouring a little into a drinking 
cup, the milk from a goat was milked foaming 
into it, and I can strongly recommend the same 
beverage to all my readers who ascend Mount 

We had still two hours' work to the peak, 
which now overhung us, to the north, and we set 
forward much revived. The grass and shrubs now 
entirely disappeared, and we had to toil over 
broken fragments of schist and marble, which, mi- 
nutely fractured by the frost, might have made a 
very good macadamised road, had it been fre- 
quented by carriages and heavy wagons, for it 
much resembled a road upon which the fresh- 
broken stones are laid down. On one peak we 
perceived the remains of pottery, and, on the 


summit, a portion of a slab, which once had borne 
an inscription. This they called St. Stephano ; 
but, on arriving here completely exhausted, it was 
with dismay that I perceived, separated from me 
by an enormous chasm, another peak, which was 
evidently higher than that on which I stood. The 
difference, indeed, could not be much, for it cut off 
but a small fraction from the mighty cloudless 
horizon that reigned all around. 

Determined, however, to stand on the highest 
point, I made up my mind to make friends with 
the dogs, and sleep with the shepherds that night, 
to ascend the other peak, or that of St. Elias, 
next day. I spent no more than an hour at this 
giddy height, where the craving of my eyes would 
not have been satisfied under a week. I seemed 
to stand perpendicularly over the sea, at the height 
of 10,000 feet. Salonica was quite distinguishable, 
lying north-east ; Larissa appeared under my very 
feet. The whole horizon, from north to south- 
west was occupied by mountains, hanging on, as it 
were, to Olympus. This is the range that runs 
westward along the north of Thessaly, ending in 
the Pindus. The line of bearing of these heaved- 
up strata seems to correspond with that of the 
Pindus, that is, to run north and south, and they 
presented their escarpment to Olympus. Ossa, 
which lay like a hillock beneath, stretched away at 
right angles to the south; and, in the interval, 
spread far, far in the red distance, the level lands 


of Thessaly, under that peculiar dusty mist which 
makes nature look like a gigantic imitation of an 
unnatural effect produced on the scene of a 

When I first reached the summit, and looked 
over the warm plains of Thessaly, this haze was of 
a pale yellow hue. It deepened gradually, and 
became red, then brown, while similar tints, far 
more vivid, were reproduced higher in the sky. 
But, when I turned round to the east, up which 
the vast shadows of night were travelling, the cold 
ocean looked like a plain of lead ; the shadow of 
the mighty mass of Olympus was projected twenty 
miles along its surface ; and I stood on the very 
edge, and on my tiptoes. On such a spot what im- 
pressions crowd upon the mind, bewilder the senses, 
and absorb the soul ! Here, where the early Greek 
was borne above the earth, and raised nearest to 
the skies, has the torch of imagination been grasped 
by the Hellenic race ; here was the idea of eternity 
conceived, and genius called to life by the thought 
and hope of immortality. 

The cold was intolerable, and I commenced to 
turn my face and my steps toward the nether 
world, and soon discovered the difference between 
ascending and descending, and thought that the 
winged feet of the Olympus courier was a metaphor 
so appropriate that it must have originated in the 
very tract which I was passing over, and in similar 
feats to those which I was performing. On re- 


gaining the sheep-fold a new dilemma arose. I 
was unprovided with clothing : none of the shep- 
herds could spare me any thing ; they had only 
ascended to that height for two days. It is a 
a traditional point of honour amongst them to 
reach, once a-year, this elevation ; and there were 
neither trees, nor shrubs, nor grass with which 
they could make a fire. There was nothing for it 
but to proceed downwards to the monastery. 

The shepherds played to me an instrument, 
which seemed peculiarly adapted to such a situa- 
tion. It was a rude pipe, made from the bone of 
an eagle's wing. It is called Floera : the tones 
are sweet and melodious. While I was in the 
shepherd's encampment, I saw a shaving performed 
in a very extraordinary manner. The thigh- 
bone of a sheep was broken, and the marrow of it 
smeared on the patient's head, cheeks, and chin. 
The shepherds generally carry a sheep's thigh- 
bone, to be ready for the operation, stuck in their 
garter, just as a Highlander wears his little knife 
for hamstringing deer. 

There was scarcely an interval of darkness be- 
tween the setting of the sun and the rising of the 
moon, so brilliant were the stars ; and when the 
orb of Diana arose, the rays she shot might even 
have made her brother's face turn pale with envy. 
A couple of shepherds besides my own guide ac- 
companied me some way, so as to put us in the 
true direction ; and having reached the track 


which their flocks had recently made in ascending, 
they left us to our fate. I had known what it is 
to be hungry, thirsty, with one's limbs broken with 
fatigue, and the nerves wholly overcome with long 
privation of sleep ; I have known what it is to cast 
myself, in recklessness of life, upon the cold earth, 
or in the snow, or on the beach, after dragging 
myself from the waves ; but the suffering of this 
night surpassed every misery with which I had 
become acquainted. During the next day I reached, 
however, the monastery alone, having accomplished 
forty miles of ascent and descent ; my guide, before 
we were half-way down, having thrown himself on 
the ground, where I was forced, from cold, to 
leave him. 

The structure of Olympus is very singular. 
The central group is marble, sometimes in thin 
"layers, varying from very fine to very coarse- 
grained white, sometimes gray, with a little lime- 
stone dispersed through it. Looking towards the 
mountain, the sides seem all rounded ; but, looking 
from the centre, the escarpments present them- 
selves as cliffs. Towards the base of the principal 
rock, a little gneiss appears overlying the marble. 
The water from the mountain winds round it in a 
vale somewhat irregular, formed by the back of 
the marble and the face of a mingled formation of 
stratified granite, gneiss, and mica shist : a more 
extensive vale, and higher abutments succeed to 
this. Through this stratum the water escapes to 


the south-west, by a valley of denudation, and, to 
the east, finds its way along the face of the gneiss to 
the sea. At Sciathos, I remarked a section of a 
rock-marble below, and mica shist above, conform- 
ably overlying, but supposed it displaced. At 
Naxia, the marble and gneiss regularly alternate 
in layers, which seem identical with the stratifica- 
tion of Olympus. Towards Tempe, also, mica 
shist abounds, of a burnt amber colour, which, 
together with the rugged and broken aspect of the 
hills, gives that region a volcanic look ; and has, 
perhaps, led to the supposition that the passage of 
the Peneus was opened by an earthquake. Tempe 
is a valley of denudation. 

There have been considerable doubts as to the 
source whence both verde-antico and giallo-antico 
have been derived. The latter, which is merely 
white marble, with yellow maculae, I saw in abund- 
ance in the vicinity of Olympus. The former, 
which is serpentine, I observed in situ in the fol- 
lowing places : in the schistose mountains, above 
Poros ; at Naxos, where it presents a number of 
very singular varieties, and passes into white 
earth ; on the summits of the Pindus ; I have 
seen fragments of it also on Mount Olympus; I 
have seen it again in situ in the mountains of 
Chalcidice; and again in fragments in the island 
of Sciathos. In speaking of the quarries of 
Sciathos, Strabo tells us that thence were derived 
the variegated marbles — the -irowlovg povoWovg — 

VOL. I. f F 


which caused the white marbles of Italy to go 
out of fashion at Rome.* The coincidence 
of this testimony with the presence of the sub- 
stances in question, can leave, I think, no doubt, 
that the verde-antico and the giallo-antico were 
drawn from Thessaly and from the extensive quar- 
ries of Sciathos. And if this required confirmation, 
which I don't think it does, I might cite the 
numerous works of antiquity in verde antique, still 
remaining in the vicinity, and to be seen at 
Larissa, Thessalonica, and Mount Athos. 

The stratification of the mountains that sur- 
round Thessaly on three sides — the west, the 
north, and east — is identical; so, also, is the line 
of dip and bearing : Pindus runs north and south ; 
so does Pelion and Ossa ; and the chain is found 
again prolonged to the south in the island of 
Eubcea and Skiathos. To the north, the moun- 
tains of Pieria, which connect Pindus and Olympus, 
appear, as I have said, when seen from the summit 
of the latter mountain, to have been thrown up in 
a line, which runs at right angles with their line 
of bearing ; so that the valleys run across the 
chain, and do not give the idea of a strong bound- 
ary line : and the history of Thessaly, for nearly 
two thousand years, seems to corroborate the fan- 

Kxpurricig, x.r.X., y,ovo\i&ov<; yu^ xei'vcc^ xeci kXccxxs y-tyaXxg otrov le-ui 
xtt) ih'u 7r'i7roU% n rk XovxoXiQx ov 7roAAov *%ix. 


pression respecting its geological structure, which 
a glance at the country from the top of Olympus 
made upon me. 

The range of mountains, which forms the south 
side of Thessaly,* is of a very different character. 
It is limestone, towering almost like a perpendi- 
cular, and stretching like a continuous wall ; — 
thence the fame of Thermopylae, and the glory of 

I have been in the habit of designating as 
Peloponnesian that peculiar limestone which pre- 
vails in the Grecian Peninsula, from Thermopylae 
southward. And, on historic grounds alone, that 
name ought to belong to this rock. It is a detest- 
able rock for the geologist, the botanist, the agri- 
culturist, and the painter, because it has no variety, 
no organic remains, and no minerals; it bears 
few plants ; affords little soil ; and is tame 
without softness, or rude without wildness.f It 
makes amends, however, by the themes it has fur- 
nished to the historian, and the home it has 

* I refer to (Eta, and the mountains south of the Sperchius. 
The mountainous tract on the north of the Sperchius is by no 
means so elevated : is broken and irregular, and resembles, on 
a small scale, the range of mountains on the north which 
connect the Pindus and Olympus. 

f This limestone, when highly stratified, becomes eminently 
picturesque in its fractures, though bare and gray ; but I have 
seldom seen it so except in continental Greece. 

F F 2 


afforded to the poet. The former owes to it the 
scenes of Thermopylae, Marathon, and Cheronaea ; 
the latter is indebted to it for Helicon, Ida, Olenos, 
and Parnassus. Affording but a limited amount 
of herbs and shrubs, it endows them with unrival- 
led flavour ; hence the long renown of the flocks 
of Arcadia; hence the fragrant heather, thyme, 
and rosemary, that have immortalised the honey 
of Hymettus. 

This Peloponnesian limestone is mixed gray and 
white, the gray appearing like maculae : the mass 
often seems formed of older fragments, mixed up 
in a new fusion, both substances being however 
identical. The section of the centre portion of a 
range exhibits a rock much contorted, and some- 
times granular ; while, further away, on each side, 
it assumes the air of stratification ; and, inclining 
towards the centre, it becomes more and more 
stratified as it recedes. 

Before the Throne of Jupiter, and wandering over 
the abode of the Gods, I, of course, interrogated 
each site and rock for records of its former glory ; 
and sought in the traditions or the superstition of 
the ephemeral beings, who pasture their flocks 
within its sacred precincts, for traces of the fictions 
which have entwined its name with our earliest 
associations, and which have stamped its character 
and its memory on the master-pieces of art, and 
the inspirations of genius. Strange to say, it was 


not without satisfaction, that I did not find what 
I sought, because I found instead, the original 
impressions of the spot which had created the 
mythology of Greece. They had no recollection 
of the ** Thunderer;" no tradition of Apollo, or of 
Phaeton ; but they told me that " the stars came 
down at night on Olympus!" "that heaven and 
earth had once met upon its summit, but that 
since men had grown wicked, God had gone 
higher up." It would seem as if Moore had 
painted from the lips of the monks of Spermos, 
and the shepherds of St. Elias. 

" When in the light of nature's dawn, 

Rejoicing men and angels met 
On the high hill and dewy lawn, 
Ere sorrow came, or sin had drawn 

Twixt man and heaven her curtain yet ; 
When earth lay nearer to the skies 

Than in these days of crime and wo ; 
And mortals saw without surprise, 
In the mid-air, angelic eyes 

Gazing upon this world below." 

It was on the evening of the second day after 
my return to the monastery of Spermos, that I 
was in a fit state to mount again. Diogenes 
seemed disinclined to risk himself any further with 
such a companion ; and, having got a budget of 
news which would be a marvel for a month in 
Tcherichene, and a good story for ever afterwards, 


he determined on remaining at the monastery, to 
return next day to his home.* 

* I should have considered it a mere act of justice not to 
deprive the reader of the perusal, or Diogenes of the gratifi- 
cation, of my inserting an Iambic ode, now inscribed on the 
marble tablet, more durable than brass, of the fountain of 
Spermos ; but, unfortunately, when arranging these papers for 
the press, a poet saw and admired the ode, and carried it away 
for translation. 






I now determined on visiting Captain Demo, 
who has the Larissa district of Mount Olympus. 
He was residing at a village of the name of Caria, 
at the distance of ten miles from the monastery. 
A young aspirant to the honours of Caloyerism, 
volunteered his unbought services to accompany 
me ; for, as I said before, I had no money in my 
pocket. This state of my finances Diogenes was 
aware of, as I had pointed it out to him as the 
grounds of my confidence in visiting such a coun- 
try at such a moment. " That might do very 
well." he observed, " with Turks, or even with 
Klephts, but it won't do at all with priests or 
monasteries." He invited me to accompany him 
to the chapel, before my departure, where he was 
going to do something very extraordinary and 
astonishing. As we entered, and in passing the 
eleemosynary box, which had a very large slit for 
the contributions of the faithful, lie did not drop 


into the slit, but laid beside it a bright and 
shining yellow piece of twenty piastres, so that 
the monks might not remain in doubt as to the 
author of so generous a contribution. On starting, 
I recommended particularly to his care the guide 
I had dropped on the way, and who had not yet 
made his appearance, but who had been found 
next morning on the road, and carried in a 
wretched plight to a hut in the woods. I reck- 
oned on sending to himself a memorial worth his 
preserving, of this trip ; but although I had not 
hinted to him my intentions, he promised to the 
Abbot, before me, three months' pay to the shep- 
herd, amounting to the enormous sum of fifteen 
shillings sterling. 

Soon after leaving the monastery, we passed 
by the small village of Scamea, of which about a 
third of the houses seemed inhabited ; higher up 
to our left, was that of Pouliana, entirely deserted. 
Both were surrounded by orchards of fruit trees : 
the plum-trees were peculiarly striking; their 
boughs were weighed down like those of weeping 
willows, and sometimes had been broken off by 
the loads of fruit clustering on the branches ; the 
leaves seemed like the garnishing of heaped up 

Judging by the accounts I had heard of the 
ubiquity of Captain Poulio, I had little expectation 
of finding Captain Demo at Caria; and, at all 


events, reckoned on seeing in that village his place 
of refuge, and also the frontier fortress of his legi- 
timate domain, the beau-ideal of a robber's retreat, 
perched on a precipice, or nestled in a cavern. 
My surprise was therefore great, on coming sud- 
denly to the edge of a precipice, to be assured that 
a peaceful and smiling village which appeared in 
the angle of an open plain was Caria ; that a 
more stately mansion than the rest, placed in the 
middle of it, with a light and airy aspect, white- 
washed, composed of two stories, surmounted by a 
Kiosk, was the place of abode of the redoubted 
Captain Demo. As I approached it, however, I 
saw indications of the manners, and the calling of 
its proprietor in numerous loopholes, with which it 
was pierced in all directions. He appeared a 
homely and intelligent man, but not much dis- 
posed to put himself out of his way for any thing 
or for any body. He received me, however, cor- 
dially enough ; told me that he had heard of me 
for some time ; that he knew I liked the Klephts, 
and that, therefore, the visit was not unexpected ; 
and immediately insisted, despite my blistered feet 
and jaded limbs, on taking me to see an English 
garden which seemed to occupy all his thoughts. 
I was exceedingly struck with it ; whether as to 
extent, the nature of the plants and flowers, or the 
care and neatness of the cultivation, it was what I 
never should have dreamt of seeing in Olympus, 


especially at such a time as this. He earnestly 
begged me to send him from Salonica seeds and 
flowers, and, above all, potatoes ; and spoke of an 
English plough, as the summit of his ambition 
and the accomplishment of his desires. I engaged 
to satisfy his wish as far as that should be prac- 
ticable ; he, on the other side, promising to collect 
for me arrow-heads, which they often dig up in 
great quantity, and which they sometimes get 
made into pistol barrels. These arrow-heads are 
without a barb, and resemble exactly those used 
by the Circassians at the present day. Two days 
before, in digging a cistern for his garden, they 
had opened a Roman tomb of mortar and brick ; 
it was full ten feet long. They told me they had 
found in it the bones of a giant. I was very 
anxious to see them, but all we could find was a 
portion of the skull : it seemed, indeed, a portion 
of a human skull, but fearfully thick, which Captain 
Demo averred was a proof that the owner must 
have been a great man. 

On the rock above Caria, there is a ruin of an 
ancient fortress, which, on examination through 
the glass, appeared to me Venetian ; but I rejected 
the supposition as improbable. A Venetian for- 
tress, in such a position, seemed to surpass what 
could be expected from the maritime and com- 
mercial settlements of Venice in the Levant. But 
soon afterwards, a large silver coin was brought to 


me, presenting, in bold relief, the rampant lion of 
St. Mark. On the reverse, was the bust of a 
warrior, with a helmet and coat of mail ; below this 
was a shield of St. George and the Dragon traced 
upon it, with the inscription, " Da pacem, Domine, 
in dies nos, 1642." Two years after which date, 
Venice protected the piratical seizure, by the 
Knights of Malta, of a Turkish vessel, having on 
board a son of Sultan Ibrahim, whom they made a 
friar (Padre Ottomano) ; which act gave rise to the 
war which cost Venice her Eastern empire. Some 
other coins of the Roman emperors were also 
brought me ; but that which was the most remark- 
able of all, as found in such a spot, was one of 
those beautiful silver relics of the earliest coinage 
of Greece, bearing the grazing horse and the 
Hercules' head of the Enians. 

At the distance of six miles south-west, across 
the little plain, I was told of an inscription, which, 
next morning, I went to visit. The place was evi- 
dently the site of a town or city, and there was a 
large stone erect, bearing an inscription of which 
some letters were legible. It was Roman, of the 
Empire, and the only words I could make out 
were, " inventio ipsorum," which I thought happily 
calculated to guide geographers in making this out 
to be the site of some important city ; but, after 
this warning, I leave to the learned to affix a name 
to it. 

Captain Demo and I soon became great friends, 


and he declared he would accompany me himself 
to Rapsana, which overlooks the vale of Tempe. 
We decided on starting the evening following my 
arrival, intending to sleep at a village half way. 
A milk-white charger, more remarkable for his 
colour than his points, was brought into the court- 
yard, and, with the other horses that were to ac- 
company us, allowed to prepare themselves for the 
journey by licking and crunching the mass of rock- 
salt, which, in this country, is the hearth-stone for 
all fourfooted animals. 

We had already mounted, and had reached the 
skirts of the village, when we were assailed with a 
hue and cry, and some fifty people made a rush at 
us, men, women, and children. It appeared that, 
ten minutes before, the holy career of a young and 
promising monk had been threatened with a speedy 
and tragic conclusion, by the vengeance of an in- 
jured husband. The neighbours, suddenly assem- 
bled, had interposed ; the women fainted and 
shrieked, the men swore, the children cried, and 
the pigs, dogs, and cocks, all displayed their sym- 
pathy, in the various tones by which their feelings 
find expression. At that very moment was de- 
scried the white charger of the judge of the people, 
and the collective rush took place by which our 
further progress was arrested. The Robber of 
Olympus reined in, and, knitting his brow, scowled 
around, like Stilicho, when he looked upon the 
Goths. A disconsolate mother threw herself on 


her knees before him, and called for justice ; a 
priest for vengeance ; a monk, with a broken pate, 
for mercy ; the hapless female looked a prayer for 
pity ; while the forensic tones of the injured hus- 
band rose above the rest — he, of course, sued for 
damages. Half-a-dozen children sobbed and cried ; 
a sister shrieked and tore her hair; a brother 
stood, with a roving eye and a compressed lip, 
and turned, now on the husband, and now on the 
monk, glances of hate and of vengeance. Captain 
Demo listened for a while in patience; but what 
patience could resist such discordant appeals and 
dissonant voices ? and what judge could maintain 
his equanimity when assailed from right and left, 
from before and behind, from all around, and from 
under, and where, according to the advantage of 
position, his feet, legs, and hands, were seized as 
means of reaching his ear ? The steed first gave 
tokens of dissatisfaction, by capering about, and 
carrying up and down, with gentle undulation, the 
severe and frowning form of its rider. But, when 
the Klepht began to storm, all that had gone be- 
fore was as nothing. The metaphor of his threats 
was perfectly Homeric, and heightened by a see- 
saw motion of his hand across his throat, borrowed 
from the Turks. I thought nothing would have 
satisfied him but cutting off the heads of the whole 
party ; and, if he had been so disposed, there was 
nobody who could say to him, " you shall not." 
The afternoon was wasted away in the investi- 


gation that followed the first clamours, and in the 
summing up of evidence before pronouncing final 
judgment, in which the priest figured not only as 
counsellor, but as executioner ; for penance, alms, 
crossings, and genuflexions, were liberally distri- 
buted amongst all the delinquents. The offending 
monk had seven thousand of the latter alone for 
his share, while half the sum was inflicted on the 
husband for having broken his head. The frail 
fair one was to appear before a higher tribunal : 
her case was to be submitted to the Bishop of 

Our journey thus postponed till the morrow, I 
spent another night at Caria, and scarcely had 
concluded supper, at which the lowest menial of 
the captain-judge sat down at the same table with 
us, though the next moment they stood before 
their master with awe in their looks, and reverence 
in their attitudes, — no sooner, I have said, had 
supper been concluded, than three travellers ab- 
ruptly made their entrance. When they had 
seated themselves, Captain Demo and I inquired 
after their health ; they replied, " Thank God, 
we are very well ; but," said one of them, a 
little hastily, " we are come to inquire after our 
horses." The Captain's pipe was removed from 
his mouth, the very scowl I had seen two hours 
before called up again, and cast full on the bold 
questioner. " Do you take me for your groom ?" 
he asked. V If I did not take you for the Captain 


of Olympus," retorted the stranger, " you would 
not have seen me under your roof. I am come to 
claim the property and the horses of which I 
have been robbed." Captain Demo's eyes sud- 
denly turned on me, but were as quickly averted. 
He certainly had exhibited a vivid picture of the 
happiness and tranquillity which the country en- 
joyed by the protection of his arm, and the im- 
partial severity of his justice. Now blow after 
blow fell upon the theory he had erected. I ex- 
pected another explosion, but was disappointed. 
The new comer proved to be a wealthy Primate of 
Monastir, known to be in great favour with the 
Sadrazcm. The tranquillity, recently established 
to the south and east of Monastir by the presence 
of the Turkish troops, induced him, with his two 
companions, to proceed to Larissa, to make pur- 
chases ; and they were returning, with seven horses 
laden with goods, when, that morning, they had 
been surrounded by a party of Klephts, and their 
money, baggage, and baggage-horses taken from 
them, though they had not been otherwise mal- 

They had instantly made their way to Caria 
to seek redress. The circumstances, spot, and 
time, were minutely inquired into ; the numbers and 
appearance of the robbers ; the number of pack- 
ages, and their contents, the horses, their colours, 
and marks, were taken down, and then a general 
divan was held of all Captain Demo's soldiers. 


They came to a unanimous conclusion as to who 
the guilty people were, and, within an hour, 
twenty men were on their way in pursuit. These 
were divided into three bodies : one made straight 
for the village to which the robbers were thought 
to belong. With these was the Grammaticos 
(penman) of the Captain. They were to seize 
and carry off one or two persons, to be kept 
until the robbers were given up. The two other 
parties, of seven, were to track the robbers ^thern- 
selves by different paths. Places and hours of ren- 
dezvous were given, and the details of the ex- 
pedition, combined with a sagacity only exceeded 
by the alacrity shewn by those who had to carry 
it into execution ; and next morning the plundered 
men were to proceed on their journey to a village 
at the distance of thirty miles, where Captain 
Demo promised them that every thing they pos- 
sessed should be restored to them on the following 
evening; that a strap or a buckle should not be 
wanting ; when they might, if they liked, give a 
backshish to his men, and he only begged them 
to tell the Sadrazem what strict justice he main- 
tained in Olympus. I subsequently understood 
that his promise was punctually performed. 

These very men who now started upon this 
expedition, and not one of whom would have 
betrayed its object for almost any consideration, 
might have been Klephts themselves a week be- 
fore, or might become so the week after. 


The following is the list of villages — cities, I 
should say — which owe allegiance to Captain 
Demo, comprised in the Larissa district of Mount 
Olympus, with the number of fires which he stated 
they possessed ten years ago, that is, before the 
Greek revolution, and those which they actually 
contain in 1830. I give the villages as he enu- 
merated them, though the legitimacy of his rights 
over the three latter is disputed ; two of these 
being claimed by Captain Poulio, and the last by 
a captain whose name I forget. He declares he 
can muster five hundred men; I suppose, when 
he calls out the landwehr : but the standing army 
only amounted to fifty. 



Perietos- • 









Fires in 1820. 

Fires in 1830. 






. ... 100 

40 .... 








, 150 


. 250 





3020 341 

The plain in which Caria is situated, is a por- 

* This village is seated on a rock, and was the village 
suspected of the robbery. 

VOL. I. G G 


tion of the deep ravine which reigns all round the 
central group of Olympus. After crossing it, we 
ascended the ridge which forms the outer circle of 
the ravine, and thence descended again to the 
vale, the lake and the village of Nizeros distant 
six miles from Caria. Close to the water's edge 
stood two majestic aspens, as tall as the loftiest 
poplar, but spreading like oaks, with their green 
and silvery leaves twittering in the sun. The lake 
seemed covered with myriads of water-fowl, which 
had taken refuge in the most elevated sheet of 
water from the August heats of the plains of 
Thessaly. The change of temperature was quite 
extraordinary, increased, no doubt, by the marshi- 
ness of the land around, w r hich filled the atmo- 
sphere with moisture. Our path had passed over 
the remnants of a vast forest of fir-pine and beech, 
which two years before had been consumed by a 
conflagration which lasted fifteen days. It was 
described to me as a thing magnificent, and truly 
wonderful. A strong wind from the north had 
carried the fire from the plain of Caria over the 
thickly wooded enscarpment that looks to the 
north, and gusts, confined in the chasms where the 
trees were the thickest, and met from either side, 
converted these chasms into furnaces, with a tre- 
mendous drought ; burning boughs, and even whole 
trees, were carried up, and shot as from a whirl- 

At Nizeros, we were to spend the greater part 


of the day, and start in the evening for Rapsana, 
ten miles further, overlooking the vale of Tempe. 
Captain Demo had sent the day before, to make 
grand preparations at Nizeros, but the expedition 
which he had sent after the robbers had discon- 
certed his plans. As we rode up to the neat little 
cottage where we were to dine, and where we 
expected to find dinner ready, we saw a sheep 
just writhing in the last convulsions of life, which 
they had hurriedly despatched on seeing us ap- 
proach. Captain Demo, enraged at this tardiness, 
made a spring from his horse, pushed the ope- 
rators aside, drew his knife from his belt, turned 
the dead animal out of its skin, slung it up by 
the hind legs to a nail; then, after one dex- 
terous slit, he put the knife between his teeth, 
bared his arms up to the shoulders, plunged them 
into the reeking bowels, spitted the animal upon a 
stake, and had it down before the fire in a few 
minutes. Scarcely was this task completed, before 
the inhabitants of the village had assembled round; 
nor did he deign to answer one of the lowly and 
multifarious salutations with which he was greeted ; 
but when he saw the sheep perform its first revo- 
lution, he turned round, and wished many years to 
the township. Some applicants came with long 
stories to tell, and he seated himself upon a stone, 
just by the spot where the sheep had been slaugh- 
tered. I thought he was going to hold here his 
" lit de justice." I was seated on a bench, at some 


distance, and, seeing him seize a female by the 
arm, thought he was going to proceed to the in- 
fliction of some summary punishment. This time, 
however, it was a patient that he was treating; 
and presently, I saw the blood from her arm 
spouting over that of the sheep. I cannot describe 
how strongly I was struck by seeing this man 
enact the Galen, examining patient after patient, 
for the whole village was unwell, and discoursing 
learnedly on symptoms and on simples with all 
the old women of the place. After that, we went 
to walk in the garden, and gather apples; and, 
with the same versatility of his cares, whenever 
he tasted one well-flavoured, he handed it over 
to me. 

I must now describe our Homeric repast. We 
were seated on white capotes, under the shade of 
an apple-tree ; a boy brought a large brass shining 
basin, which, kneeling, he presented; over this 
you hold your hands, and a girl poured water 
upon them from a jar of the same metal, with a 
long and narrow spout. Another attendant stood 
ready to flirt a napkin, so as to make it fall open 
upon your hands the moment you had finished 
washing. After this, a small round wooden table 
was brought in, and set upon the ground, and the 
guests hurstled round it as close as they could. A 
Palicar then came behind with a long narrow 
napkin, of three, and sometimes even four, yards 
in length, which, with a dexterous jerk, he threw 


out above your head, so as to make it fall in a circle 
exactly on the knees of all the guests. Dishes of 
apples, pears, olives, and prunes, were placed on 
the table ; and a diminutive tumbler of rakki, the 
size of a liqueur glass, was carried round to each 
guest. Presently, a Palicar came running with a 
ramrod, on which had been entwined the choice 
entrails of the sheep, hot and fizzing from the fire, 
and, running round the table, discharged about 
the length of a cartridge of the garnishing of the 
ramrod, on the bread before each guest. This 
first whet was scarcely discussed, when two other 
men came running, each with a kidney upon a 
wooden skewer, the hot morsels of which were 
again distributed as before. After this was brought 
the shoulder-blade of the right shoulder, which 
had been detached from the sheep. It was cere- 
moniously laid before Captain Demo : every sound 
was hushed, and every eye turned upon him. He 
cleaned it carefully, examined it on both sides, held 
it up to the sun, and then prognosticated all the 
good things that wishes could give, if they ruled 
the decrees of fate. The road* of the Greeks was 
bright without a tomb ; that of the Turks obscured 
with mist ; the fields of the host were to be 

* The course of two blood-vessels near the extremity of 
the blade, and running from either side, represent paths, the 
one of friends, the other of foes. Spots, on the transparent 
parts of the bone, denote tombs. The fate and fortunes of the 
host and hostess are displayed. in a part near to the condyle. 


whitened with flocks, as if they were covered with 
snow ; and the hostess was presently to present to 
her lord a little blooming image of himself. The 
assistants cried, "Ameen!" The coy dame, not 
expecting, perhaps, this latter piece of gallantry, 
came to kiss the captain's hand, and waddled away, 
flourishing her blade bone, no doubt with the in- 
tention of placing it in the family reliquary. The 
guests now crossed themselves, and prepared in 
earnest for the business which called us together. 
The sheep, minus the right shoulder, made its 
appearance on a tray of myrtle twigs. Captain 
Demo unsheathed his yataghan, unjointed the 
neck, laid the head upon the body, slit it open 
with a sharp blow, and, dexterously turning out 
the tongue, placed it before me. A single blow 
then severed the spine, and the weapon passed 
between the ribs, separated, in an instant, the 
animal into two parts. Two ribs, with the ver- 
tebrae attached to them, were then separated, and 
also placed before me. This is the mode by which 
honour is shewn to a guest ; and, no doubt, in the 
self-same manner, did Achilles lay before Ulysses 
the sacred chine. 

During dinner, Captain Demo expatiated on 
the amenity, the beauty, the fertility of his -<p&>pt, 
or bread, meaning his district ; on the affection 
and regard of the inhabitants; on the devotion and 
bravery of his soldiers. He entertained me with 
accounts of his various diplomatic relations with 


the neighbouring potentates, and the difficulties in 
which he was involved respecting his northern and 
western frontiers. Before succeeding to his patri- 
mony, he had, however, he thanked God, acquired 
some knowledge in the ways of the world, and a 
reputation which secured respect to himself, and 
tranquillity to his people. " For," said he, •* for 
thirty years have I been a robber on sea and on 
land, and the name of Demo of Olympus has been 
repeated with dry lips on the mountains of Mace- 
donia, and on the shores of Caramania." 

And this was on Olympus ; and, in visiting the 
shrine of the Gods of Greece, I looked upon, not 
a representation, but a real scene, from the wars 
of Troy. Here alone has been preserved, to our 
times, the genuine progeny of Greece. The moun- 
tain-chains that surround Thessaly on every side, 
its early cradles, have now become its last retreat. 

For two thousand years have the lower portions 
of Greece, with the Peloponnesus, been overrun 
and ravaged by Sclavonians, Saracens, Goths, 
Latins, Normans, Turks, and Skipetars ; and yet 
these, by the successive destruction of the popula- 
tion of that confined region, have been less suc- 
cessful in destroying its ancient type and character, 
than the importation of European ideas, costumes, 
and manners, since the commencement of the Re- 
volution. It is strange, that it is to Turkey that 
one has to turn for the records of the Greece of 
antiquity ; and that it should be amongst the 


scenes which witnessed the rise of the Pelasgi, the 
(Enians, and the Hellenes, that now alone are to 
be found those characters which recall aCalchas or 
a Diomed ; and those circumstances which exhibit, 
in their living effects, the moral process by which 
letters, the plough, medicine, and the diviner's 
wand, have been converted into charters of power, 
and sceptres of dominion. But, alas ! the whirl- 
wind of Western opinion has swept to Turkey, 
after devastating Greece. While I trace^ these 
lines, the race of 3000 years, which I am describ- 
ing, is extinct ! A Turkish serjeant, in a blue 
jacket and trousers, with red cuff and collars, 
occupies the Kiosk, and lolls in the garden of the 
Captain of Olympus ! 








Urquhart, David 

The spirit of the East